On Friday, March 27, Cuban authorities release Adya Rigal. She is now home with her children, and we rejoice. But her husband, Pastor Ramón Rigal, remains behind bars. He was able to smuggle a long handwritten letter out of prison. He asked me to publish it.
The letter may cause trouble for Ramón—as well as those who helped him. But his story needs to be told.
He needs prayers and encouragement from his fellow homeschoolers. He needs the help of free governments willing to both condemn Cuba’s actions and call on Cuba to release the Rigal family. He is asking for help from churches and international organizations.
Taking a Stand
Ramón and his wife Adya stood up to the communist regime of Cuba, not as counterrevolutionaries, but as parents concerned for the welfare of their children. They were not trying to overthrow the government of Cuba. They only wanted to protect their children from bullying and to give them a good education.
Ramón is a brave man. Adya is a courageous woman. Without people like them, injustice would go unchallenged.
I like to think I would be as brave and dedicated to my family and to what I believe. I hope, but one never knows until the moment comes.
For Ramón and Adya, that moment came in 2017 when they were convicted of homeschooling. In 2019, they were sent to prison for years. Since then, he has been apart from his wife and children, who are all suffering.
“I have been psychologically tortured by the authorities,” Ramón wrote to me.
Indeed, I can understand. To be taken away from your family, your wife, and your children because of your faith and convictions as a parent is psychological torture.
Some other Cuban dissidents who long ago escaped Cuba told me that, 30 years ago, Ramón and Adya would have been jailed for life—or executed. That may be true. But whether then or now, the Cuban regime’s actions towards Ramón and Adya Rigal are reprehensible and should be condemned by free nations as incompatible with any legitimate form of government.
Freedom at Risk
Ramón’s fight is a fight for all homeschooling families. We may have freedom, but there are many even here in the United States who would, in the name of state control, prefer to see homeschooling banned.
Ramón deserves to have the same rights as any other parent to educate his children. And our country should not stand by silently as the Cuban government violates his rights. Please send a message to our government and to Cuba by clicking here.
HSLDA strives to advance the right of families to homeschool. We protect individual families and provide advice, counsel, and encouragement when questions or challenges arise.
The Good Fight
Sometimes the challenges are from authorities. Sometimes they are from within our family. Sometimes they come from legislatures looking to impose unreasonable restrictions on freedom.
While the world battles the coronavirus, the work of standing up for freedom must continue. HSLDA is proud and grateful to be part of that good fight.
No matter where the challenge to freedom comes from, HSLDA is there to protect, defend, and advance homeschooling freedom. You can help Ramón and others by joining HSLDA or giving to HSLDA Compassion to support homeschool freedom.