Occupants of Cuban Church Issue Demands

HAVANA TIMES, March 15 — The thirteen protesters who have occupied the “Iglesia de la Caridad” (The Church of Charity) since Tuesday night here in the Centro Havana neighborhood, submitted a letter to the Catholic Church with their demands and have continued to wait for a reply, reported the AFP news agency.

The members of the illegal “Partido Republicano de Cuba” (Cuban Republican Party, or PRC), want their petition heard by Pope Benedict XVI, although the Archbishop of Havana has publicly described their occupation as illegitimate.

The PRC issued a statement on its website, where it reports that “occupiers” are demanding freedom for political prisoners, an end to the persecution of opponents of the regime, and “increased wages and pensions for retirees in accordance with the prevailing cost of living.”

Although the report describes the atmosphere as relaxed, without the presence of uniformed police around the temple, Havana Times learned of the suspension of religious activities at the church on Wednesday because of the situation created by the occupiers.