Cuba confirms long seven-year prison sentence for evangelical pastor Lorenzo Rosales, Evangelical Focus

The Cuban government has officially informed the family of imprisoned evangelical pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo that he has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

This is one year less than what was initially communicated in a document sent by the Permanent Mission of Cuba in Geneva to the United Nations (UN). No reason was given for the change.

Pastor Rosales Fajardo was arrested after participating in peaceful protests across the island on July 11, 2021. He was imprisoned in the Boniato maximum security prison since August 2021and was tried in late December 2021 for “disrespect”, “assault”, “incitement to crime” and “disturbing public order”.

Although the pastor’s sentence was handed down shortly after his trial, he and his family only learned of his original eight-year prison sentence in April 2022 through the Cuban government’s communication to the United Nations, which acknowledged that the the “parties” had not yet been officially informed.

The Cuban administration has made multiple false accusations about the reasons for the pastor’s detention and the conditions in which he was held. The the regime claims that Rosales Fajardo was involved in a violent attack on July 11 at the headquarters of the Communist Party of Cuba in Palma Soriano, injuring seven police officers and one civilian.

However, live footage and photos show armed police and members of the paramilitary force attacking peaceful and unarmed protesters in the middle of the street, and Rosales Fajardo is strangled. The government denies accusations of violence against the pastor, including a beating that left him unconscious.

Despite the protests and explicit letters calling for the release of the pastorsome members of the US Congress or the European Parliament in Brussels, the Cuban government turned a deaf ear and continued to pursue the case in order to end the sentence.

Both the family and various entities continue to express their opposition to the sentence pronounced by the authority.

“They just notified my husband of the 7-year prison sentence,” said Marilidegnis Carballo, wife of Pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo, through her social media accounts. “Those who have turned their backs on God cannot act righteously, but now we will see our Father act, His works are perfect, and nothing less than perfection can satisfy him. He has already done it. My life today is freer than ever,” she wrote.

Cuban journalist Yoé Suarez also expressed his dissatisfaction with the court ruling. “Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo was sentenced to seven years in prison, just for going out to demonstrate #11J. Protesting peacefully cannot be a crime, destroying a family should not be a punishment for law-abiding citizens“, he said on Facebook.

“While we welcome this slight reduction in Pastor Rosales Fajardo’s prison sentence, we maintain that he is innocent of the charges against him, and therefore should be a free man. The manner in which Cuban authorities continue to change their history seems specifically designed to sow confusion and pain on this innocent man and his family, and we call on the international community to do much more to hold the Cuban Communist Party accountable for this flagrant violation of human rights against anyone who dares to challenge or question the government’s stranglehold on power said Anna Lee Stangl, member of Christian solidarity in the worldwho is following the case closely.

Posted in: Gospel focus – world
– Cuba confirms the long sentence of seven years in prison for the evangelical pastor Lorenzo Rosales

Barry F. Howard