Fidel Castro and the WT

by Hecce 143 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Fisherman

    when things started to get ugly the Branch kept their normal operations, this made easy for the security forces to raid the Branch and in one scoop get all the relevant targets.

    I always had figured that FC gov did not tolerate WT branch and simply closed them down and kept the branch for the gov or people and used it for something secular.

  • Hecce


    FC did the same with most religion property, shutting down their operations but not taking the property; as to why I don't have an answer.

    After the raid operations in the Branch became very limited,I remember that the "study material" as it was called came from stencil machines, it was a very arduous process done in different locations. After the release of the few copies allocated per congregation, enterprising friends will type a few more for distribution using carbon paper.

  • Hecce

    For Fisherman and others following the saga, here is some information that might explain the relaxation of the WT persecution in Cuba:

    Castro was baptized and raised a Roman Catholic as a child but did not practice as one. In Oliver Stone's documentary Comandante, Castro states "I have never been a believer", and has total conviction that there is only one life.[2] Pope John XXIII excommunicated Castro in 1962 after Castro suppressed Catholic institutions in Cuba.[3] Castro has publicly criticized what he sees as elements of the Bible that have been used to justify the oppression of both women and people of African descent throughout history.[4]
    In 1992, Castro agreed to loosen restrictions on religion and even permitted church-going Catholics to join the Communist Party of Cuba. He began describing his country as "secular" rather than "atheist".[5] Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998, the first visit by a reigning pontiff to the island. Castro and the Pope appeared side by side in public on several occasions during the visit. Castro wore a dark blue business suit rather than fatigues in his public meetings with the Pope and treated him with reverence and respect.[6] In December 1998, Castro formally re-instated Christmas Day as the official celebration for the first time since its abolition by the Communist Party in 1969.[7] Cubans were again allowed to markChristmas as a holiday and to openly hold religious processions. The Pope sent a telegram to Castro thanking him for restoring Christmas as a public holiday.[8

  • Hecce

    With all the bunker mentality and the gloom and doom predicted by the WT it is good to remember the Cuban debacle in that field.

    As I mentioned before, the WT attitude towards the Castro Government was antagonistic from the beginning. Something that was implemented and backfired big time was trying to use the communist literature against the officials.

    There was a booklet from Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union called "About Religion" and it stated in some portions the need for religious tolerance and freedom. Some of the brothers quoted this source when talking to the police, the results were really, really bad.

    Incidentally the Lenin booklet was written before his takeover, like Castro once that he was in power it was a different situation and behavior.

  • Hecce

    This character Humberto Godinez served as a special pioneer or CO in Havana, Cuba; he was the person that started the whole witch hunt against Raymond Franz and Company. He is mentioned in COC.

    On April 14, eight days before Schroeder returned my call, a Witness in New York named Joe Gould phoned the Brooklyn Service Department and talked to Harley Miller, a member of the five-man Service Department Committee.25 He told Miller that a fellow employee, a Cuban Witness named Humberto Godínez, had told him of a conversation in his home with a friend who was a Bethel family member. He said that the Bethel family member expressed himself on a number of points that differed from the organization’s teachings. Miller recommended to Gould that he try to find out from Godínez the name of the Bethel family member. This was done and the name of Cris Sánchez was supplied. Godínez also said that my name and those of Ed Dunlap and René Vázquez came into the conversation.
  • Hecce
  • Hecce

    FC was a chameleon, he could make and break promises and policies in a blink of an eye. There was a famous case, when he arrested one of his former comandantes and close friend Humberto Sori Marin. His mother who knew Castro as close as a mother, went to him pleading for his son's life; he told her in a very compassionate way "not to worry, that everything was going to be fine". As soon as she left he called the prison and ordered the execution, telling the lady thereafter that unfortunately he was to late to save his friend.

  • Hecce

    Current report: a lot of expectation after the death of Castro, the brothers are ready for an opening and a complete relaxation of their situation. Maybe they are too optimistic, I doubt that a Government that is basically communist is going to allow the WT free reign.

  • Hecce
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  • Hecce

    An Interesting Story About a Jehovah’s Witness / Juan Juan Almeida

    I was born in one of the central eastern provinces. Cuba was recognized by many as the beautiful pearl of the Caribbean from the very first day of its discovery by Christopher Columbus, who expressed that this was the most beautiful land ever seen by human eyes. I was born in nineteen hundred and fifty-eight, one year before the triumph of the revolution. My parents were religious, they educated me in accordance with their principles. My father and my older brother were detained on various occasions, and completed sentences of deprivation of liberty; my brother on three occasions and my father on two. Mistreated and abused as you might imagine.

    I was the fourth son of seven that my mother had, we lived in a coastal town. My father owned a candy store and dedicated the better part of his time to his work and to preach the Word of God, as is common with the “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. He never wished to mix in political problems nor give opinions that were not about his religion, this was known by the whole town, where he was very appreciated for the help he offered to many people.

    In that time, to be religious, homosexual, or dress in the latest fashion was to be considered counter-revolutionary. They were persecuted or causes would be invented to detain and judge them.

    One day several uniformed men appeared at the house bearing large arms, they broke down doors and windows, one group entered brusquely and another surrounded the house outside, as if they had entered a haunt of criminals or terrorists, though my parents had never had troubles with the police or justice. They handcuffed my father, they took him out of the house beating him, and by force they took him into detention. I am never going to forget what they did before our eyes, I was already around seven years old and was there with three brothers younger than me.

    My mother took us all through town by foot, and we went to the police station where they were holding my father. When we arrived they were taking his statement, they wanted to accuse him of counter-revolution. He refused to sign, he told them he was a religious person and that his beliefs did not permit him to mix in political matters.

    After several hours of interrogation, of personal offenses and physical mistreatment, right in front of is they took him down with blows and shoving him, put him in a cell together with other common prisoners. One of them helped the policeman, and as a result, they fractured his ankle as well as left many marks on his body. That day they did not take him to the doctor, instead on the following day, then they could make out a certificate about the lesions that was useless; they never made a case based on the denunciation of my father.

    My father remained firm and offered resistance to being detained, because that was an arbitrary act, it was illogical to think that they were dealing with a counterrevolutionary or something like it. If he signed those documents he was recognizing his participation in something he had not done, the entire town was a witness to these facts, I remember having seen many people meeting in front of the police station.

    After several days of detention and without proof, the police decided to set him free. Our family looked for lawyers, we presented proofs, the medical certificate but they never accepted the complaint. With time we finally realized the impossibility of carrying a criminal complaint forward against the police and we left it all in God’s hands.

    On another occasion, they used Maturranga, a poor town drunk, to make him pass as a Jehovah’s Witness. I was small and don’t remember his real name, what was important was the trauma they raised around him. The police would get him drunk, they’d give him matches and fuel so that he would appear in a sugar cane field as if he were going to set it ablaze. The man followed orders and in those moments the police showed up, faked having been advised to stop this man — whom everybody knew well for his alcoholism and not as a religious type — from setting the sugar cane field on fire.

    Meanwhile in town the other part of the plan was being cooked up. The raising of a public show trial in the park. They had the circus set up, cars with amplifiers installed, to announce that they had surprised a Jehovah’s Witness trying to burn a cane field. They got the whole town together to give him a show trial, in the middle of a park in town; but as everyone knew it was a farce, very few attended.

    The only thing they succeeded in was being the town joke, which as always they invent stories and jokes around anything that happens. I remember some verses in the form of a popular satire which came out of that happening:

    In God’s Armaggedon
    According to the prophet Maturranga
    There will be a lot of taro,
    Butter, wine, and rice

    June 10 2011

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