Baptist Pastor Arrested In Cuba
10/25/2011 Cuba (CSW) – In a message to the outside world after his recent arrest, Pastor Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso said, “In the midst of so much tribulation they have not made me lose hope, nor a feeling of security, quite the opposite, I have lived moments of exultation which cannot be bought with any kind of money”.
A blogger and supporter of the human rights movement, he was arrested in the town of Taguayabón last Wednesday morning after he tried to leave his home for a teaching job at a seminary in Santa Clara.
Pastor Lleonart Barroso was informed that he had been placed under house arrest, although no reason was given for his detention. He went back inside his home and told his wife that he was going to leave “because it was his right and that the house arrest was a constraint on his freedom”. Following this, state security officials drove up in a four-wheel drive and ordered Pastor Lleonart Barroso to get in. When he refused, the pastor’s wife and several other eyewitnesses saw the security agents forcibly throw him inside the vehicle and drive to a local police station.
Pastor Lleonart Barroso has been subjected to multiple house arrests in the past month, on one occasion for attempting to attend a theological course. He came under increasing spotlight when he gave pastoral support to hunger striker and EU human rights prize-winner, Guillermo Fariῆas. This called international attention to human rights in Cuba, an unpopular move with the Cuban Government.
It is believed that this latest detention could also be an attempt to prevent Pastor Lleonart Barroso from signing a book of condolence in Havana for Laura Pollan, a human rights leader who died last week.