Date: June 15, 2020
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4)
The Bible tells us that God is all-powerful over every threat we might face from people who might wish us harm. King David wrote Psalm 56 when the Philistines seized him in Gath, and the whole psalm shows his journey from fear to praising God. Pray the verses above over Yoe Suárez this week.
‘I find it worrying that State Security have broken my family’s quarantine four times as COVID-19 spreads in our country’
Cuban independent journalist Yoe Suárez was ‘visited’ in his home on 22 April by two State Security agents, who questioned and threatened him.
The two officials came to his house and asked to talk for a few minutes. Mr Suárez was shown printed documents relating to Decree-Law 370, an order which regulates use of the internet, and sections of the penal code relating to ‘enemy propaganda.’ He was then threatened with fines, the seizure of his work and a long prison sentence.
This was the second ‘visit’ he had received from State Security in less than a month. On 27 March he was summoned to the police station where he was interrogated and threatened with imprisonment and unspecified ‘repercussions’ against his family.
Mr Suárez has written extensively about human rights and freedom of religion or belief issues. As a result, he and his family have been regularly targeted by authorities.
He told us, ‘I find it worrying that State Security have broken my family’s quarantine four times as COVID-19 spreads in our country. At the same time, the current situation for freedom of expression in Cuba is [now] more restrictive and Decree-Law 370 is being used to apply unpayable fines for the average Cuban (US$ 120).
‘The Decree, approved in 2018, punishes citizens who post content on their social networks that the regime deems to be against its interests, even when this doesn’t necessarily qualify as ‘fake news’ or ‘contrary to public decency.’”
In summary, please pray:
- Ask God to protect Yoe Suárez and his family against any further intimidation by state security, and the unspecified ‘repercussions’ that were threatened.
- Pray that the Spirit of peace will guard his heart and his family’s hearts and give them complete serenity.
- Pray that Mr Suárez will be given fresh courage and all the resources he needs to continue his vital work of documenting human rights violations in Cuba.