EFE (via 14ymedio), Miami, 30 July 2022 — Cuban evangelical pastor Alain Toledano Valiente, leader of the Movement Paths of Justice and exiled in Miami since this week, stated in an interview published this Friday that “Cuba is a country in collapse.”
Toledano, his wife, Marilin, and their daughters Berenice, 18, and Elisama, 17, left Cuba thanks to the intervention of Outreach Aid to the Americas (OAA), an international organization that defends the rights of religious communities .
The US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Rashad Hussein, also interceded in the case.
According to Toledano’s statement upon arrival in Miami, Cuban authorities warned him: “Leave the country within 30 days or you and your family will face the consequences.”
In the first interview from exile, Toledano, who in recent years repeatedly denounced “harassment” against his temple in Santiago de Cuba for demanding rights and freedom, told the US public radio station Radio Martí, which broadcasts from Florida to Cuba, that the rights and living conditions of Cubans are “precarious.”
“When you look at the living conditions of men (on an international level), you realize that the Cuban does not have any living conditions. Rights, none. It stopped being really a nation, it stopped really being a country where as a citizen you can live with everything you need,” he said.
The pastor called on Cubans to recover their freedom by confronting “the people who have been empowered by evil and violence” in Cuba.
“The slaver is never going to give you freedom,” said the religious leader.
In the latest report on International Religious Freedom published by the US State Department, it was included in the Cuba section that Cuban State Security agents arrested Pastor Toledano in 2021 for “spreading an epidemic.”
The arrest was due to the fact that he had reopened the doors of his temple after confinement due to covid-19, but, as he denounced, the accusation was unfounded, since since the first week of June 2021 the Government had authorized churches to restart their activities normally and moderately.
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