Cuban bishop complains to government of attack on dissident deacon

A bishop in eastern Cuba issued a complaint to the island's communist government about a recent assault on a deacon who is also a political dissident.

The deacon, Andres Rodriguez Tejeda, confirmed Tuesday that two men hit him in the face and chest and shouted out insults last week as he left his house on his way to church with his wife and 14-year-old son.

"(One of the men) said I was a counterrevolutionary and a mercenary, and that he was a communist and wouldn't allow this," Rodriguez said in a telephone interview.

Hector Luis Pena Gomez, a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the province of Holguin, denounced the attack as well as other recent protests against Rodriguez by government supporters in a statement calling on authorities to prevent and punish such acts, which are on the rise across the island.

Rodriguez said the bishop delivered an official complaint to the Communist Party's office of religious affairs.

The dissident is a member of the Christian Liberation Movement and worked as a coordinator with the Varela Project, a democracy drive led by internationally known activist Oswaldo Paya, AP reported. V.A.

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