The more things change
Reuters confirms this morning that plainclothes police kicked their way into a Roman Catholic church in Santiago, beat up a group of dissidents attending Mass inside and then took them away.
According to the local priest, Jose Conrado Rodriguez, seven people were arrested on Tuesday when police entered the parish church of Santa Teresita in search of what are coyly described as “government opponents”.
"I thought the church was on fire when I heard all the shouting," the priest said, adding that police had used pepper spray on the dissidents. "I told the police they acted like barbarians. They kicked their way into the parish, beating people and spraying gas in their eyes.”
The incident appears to have upset the normally somnolent Catholic hierarchy in Havana.
A spokesman for the Cuban Catholic Bishops Conference told Reuters the incident was “serious” but added: “We hope it is an isolated thing.”