"Barbarian" Cuban cops raid church

A Cuban priest has described police as "barbarians" after his church was raided by undercover police who kicked down the doors, beat parishioners and used pepper spray on a group of dissidents.

Five people - who were among a group two dozen communist protestors - handcuffed and dragged from the church

Reuters reports the parish of St Teresita in Santiago was violently entered as parish priest Fr Jose Conrado Rodriguez was dressing for mass.

"I thought the church was on fire when I heard all the shouting," Fr Rodriguez said.

"I told the police they acted like barbarians," he said.

The incident occurred at a time of improved relations between Cuba's ruling Communist Party and the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Cuba has declined to comment on the incident.

Police beat dissidents in Cuban church - priest (Reuters, 05/12/07)

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Communist Party of Cuba

6 Dec 2007