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Concerns over Cuban pastor's home

Revd Bravo Denis (also known as Yiorvis) has been fighting for two years for his right to be recognised as the legal owner of his home, which also acts as the national headquarters of the Apostolic Movement, a Protestant denomination which the government refuses to register.

He claims the government orchestrated mobs to target his home two years ago.

Anti-persecution charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) says that he and his family face the threat of eviction at any time.

Revd Bravo Denis told CSW that state security officers are continually harassing his friends and members of the church because of their connection to him.

He said that his family has expressed concern at unexplained damage to the front of their home.


"We have a lot of questions, but we simply continue to pray and declare words of favour for the entire situation. It is necessary to keep pressuring [the government] through the media and human rights institutions and continuing to knock at every door that we come to on our path," he said.

Revd Bravo Denis is also waiting for the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) to issue its findings with regard to a Request for Precautionary Measures filed in May on his behalf.
The law firm representing Revd Denis, told CSW that they are concerned at the length of time the IAHRC is taking: "While our client's rights continue to be trampled by the communist government of Cuba, the Commission is taking an unusually long time reviewing this case. Our client hopes that the Commission, and other interested parties in Washington DC, will be a little more proactive," said lawyer Jason Poblete.

Two years ago Revd Bravo Denis appeared before the Ministry of Justice in Camagüey with Revd Gude Perez, where it was decided he and his family should be evicted and the government should take over ownership.

Revd Bravo Denis has since refused to leave the property despite government-organised 'acts of repudiation', which he claims have targeted his family.

This is reported to have involved state security agents, police and members of paramilitary groups dressed as civilians surrounding the house for days, shouting insults and throwing rocks, eggs and other hard objects in an attempt to force them out.

Over the summer Revd Bravo Denis was stopped from traveling outside Cuba to attend an event in Peru, the government gave the reason as his refusal to acknowledge the government as rightful owner of his property and his failure to pay rent to the authorities has resulted in debts that prevent his leaving Cuba for any reason.

CSW's Chief Operating Officer Andy Dipper said: "We continue to be deeply concerned by the precarious situation in which Yiorvis and his family are living, in constant danger of eviction because of the Cuban government's stance.

"The Cuban authorities' attempts to force him to pay rent on his own property and their actions preventing him from travelling outside the country because of this 'unpaid rent' amounts to nothing more than extortion.

"We call on the Cuban government to restore his property rights and also urge the IAHRC to issue its findings as soon as possible.

"Action from the IAHCR is critical not just for Yiorvis and his family but for other churches and religious organisations across Cuba who are also facing government attempts to illegally expropriate their property in a similar manner."

The family have not been evicted by force, however government officials are insisting that Revd Barvo Denis does not own the property, and is a tenant.

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