FCO Human Rights Report 2015: not included
2014: Cuba’s constitution provides for the protection of religious freedom. However, the government monitors and strictly controls religious activity through its Office of Religious Affairs. In 2014, the Cuban government made Good Friday an official national holiday, after having restored the holiday as an exceptional measure in 2012. Miguel Díaz-Canel, the First Vice President of the Cuban Councils of State and Ministers, called for stronger unity with the local Christian Community. He met Cuban Evangelical and Protestant leaders from the Cuban Council of Churches, and said it was important to establish a permanent dialogue with the church. While restrictions remained on freedom of religion in Cuba, especially for those involved with certain civil society groups including the Ladies in White, these restrictions appeared to be gradually easing. The Pope’s role in the US Cuba announcements of 17 December drew positive coverage in the press, and a positive reaction from Cubans.
2013: The Cuban constitution protects freedom of religion or belief, and this right was generally observed in Cuba throughout 2013. However, the government continued to detain opposition activists who used religious centres for political purposes. The British Embassy in Havana engaged with a limited number of religious representatives during the year.
Cuban Catholic bishops wrote a public letter to the government in September 2013 asking for political changes, and greater openness and acceptance of groups and people who have ideas different from the official ones. There was no official reaction to the letter.