by Mike Donnelly, HSLDA
This week a Cuban court sentenced pastor Ramón Rigal to a year in prison for homeschooling his children. Ramón’s wife, Adya, was ordered to spend a year under house arrest.
According to Ramón, authorities used the three-hour trial more as a platform for denouncing alternatives to state education than as a venue for delivering justice.
“They would not let me speak in my defense,” Ramón told me after the Tuesday trial. “I brought evidence that my children were learning—notebooks and materials—[but] they didn’t care.”
The Rigals decided to homeschool their children earlier this year in order to remove them from an environment where they were being bullied and indoctrinated in the state school system.
In February, the couple were arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors for failing to send their children to state schools.
Ramón said he had intended to present a defense at the trial based on Cuba’s constitution and various international human rights treaties the nation has ratified. But his efforts were curtailed as authorities focused on defending the state system.
© 2017 Home School Legal Defense Association