The Pentecostal Pastor Reutilio Columbie, who was violently assaulted and beaten this past February 6th and later rushed into the emergency room of a hospital after being left for dead, has recently been discharged from the hospital but was left with serious brain damage, which include difficulties with speech.
Columbie was being threatened by Cuban functionaries for numerous weeks after they (the authorities) confiscated his pickup truck which he used to transport churchgoers to his religious center, the Pentecostal Shalom Church. The Pastor decided to direct himself to provincial and municipal organisms in demand of his rights, affirming that he had paid his car and that the functionaries who took it from him gave him absolutely no explanations. For this reason, he began to receive phone calls from unknown people who threatened him and his family with violence if he continued voicing his complaints. Regardless, Columbie continued demanding his rights, which culminated in a brutal attack on the morning hours of February 6th in Holguin. Although no witnesses saw his aggressors, when he was found nearly lifeless on the pavement by a local citizen, the folder which he carried was in tact, except for a document related to his stolen vehicle which he was going to present in a municipal office of Holguin. His attackers did not steal any other document, nor did they steal the 300 pesos he carried with him. The Cuban police has completely ignored the situation.
After having spent several days in the Provincial Hospital of Holguin, the Pastor “has been left in a very critical state…he can’t even organize his own words, and he cannot focus on what he will say or what he is thinking“, according to the independent journalist from Holguin, Caridad Caballero Batista.
In addition, Batista adds that Columbie is “still under surveillance by the political police“, despite the fact that he does not even belong to an opposition group in the island. He is just a citizen demanding his rights.
The case of Reutilio Columbie, or “Tilin” as churchgoers and friends call him, is another example of the corruption, violence, and the harassment which the Cuban regime utilizes to stay in power and to plant fear in all Cubans.
For more information directly from Cuba, please contact Caridad Caballero Batista. Cell Phone Number: 011-5352- 629749 / Twitter: @caricaballero