What’s at stake?

Homeschooling families in Cuba are facing persecution, the worst of which is the Cuban regimes willingness to harass and arrest its citizens. A victory in Rigal v Cuba would establish that such behavior is not acceptable. If Cuba plans to join the community of nations and have a relationship with countries like the United States, it should be excepted that they stop violating the human rights of their citizens. Cuba’s history of totalitarian behavior must change now. HSLDA calls on the Cuban government to acknowledge the rights of parents to homeschool their children. We hope that members of Congress and the current administration continue to take interest in this case and to defend the Rigals and other families like them.

Why is HSLDA involved?

HSLDA is a global advocacy organization. Although most of our members are in the United States where we were founded 35 years ago, our membership is increasingly global. We are privileged to have the resources, expertise, and desire to help families and organizations who desire to enjoy the same freedom we have here in the US. Additionally, defending freedom abroad strengthens homeschool freedom here at home. Our founder Michael Farris once said, “If we don’t defend these rights everywhere then we won’t have these rights anywhere.”

Where are the Rigals now?

Ramon Rigal and his wife Adya are out of prison and are back home with their children.

How many children are in the family and what are their ages?

The Rigals have two children, Ruth (13) and Joel (9)

Case timeline:

February 21, 2017 — Two police officers show up at Ramon and Adya’s home. When they arrive at the police station, the Rigals are formally arrested and charged for homeschooling their children. (Watch this story here.)

April 25, 2017 — The Rigal family is summoned to appear at Guantanamo District Court, facing criminal charges for homeschooling. Ramon was sentenced to a year in prison, his wife Adya was ordered to spend a year under house arrest.

July 5, 2017 Ramon and Adya Rigal are scheduled to appear before an appeals court to argue why they should not be punished for teaching their children at home.

March 2019 — The Rigal family continues to homeschool and attempts to flee Cuba after officials show up at their door. They are detained at the airport.

April 2019 — Pastor Ramon Rigal and his wife Adya are sentenced to jail terms of 2.5 and 1.5 years for homeschooling their two children.

July 2020 Pastor Ramon Rigal was released from jail after wife Adya was released in March. They are back home with their children. 

For further information:

Trudi Miller
HSLDA Global Outreach Program Manager
540-338-5600   international@hslda.org