Cuban Couple Arrested for Homeschooling Their Children

HAVANA, Cuba — A Cuban couple was recently arrested for homeschooling their children, as the government says that “homeschooling is not considered an educational institution, as this term is basically used in countries with capitalist foundations.”

Ramón and Adya Rigal were taken into custody on Feb. 21 after authorities realized their children were not attending school and would not make any allowances despite the family’s requests. Ramón is a pastor.

The Rigals had chosen to homeschool as they “wanted the freedom to give our children the education that we, the parents, have chosen.” Article 26.3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that parents have the right to provide their children the education of their choosing.

However, the Cuban government “wanted to impose their position upon us and gave us a warning notice and told us they would take us before the courts because of our position on homeschooling,” Ramón Rigal told the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

“I visited authorities several times to find a peaceable solution to my problem,” he explained. “I brought up the possibility of homeschooling under their supervision. I was told that if I did, my wife and I would be imprisoned and our children sent away.”

The couple soon also received a letter from the Municipal Office of Education, which advised that “in our system, homeschooling is not considered an educational institution, as this term is basically used in countries with capitalist foundations.” It also warned that Cuban criminal code penalizes those who lead a child to be “absent from school.”

HSLDA sent a letter to the Office of Education in November to plead on the Rigals’ behalf, noting that “[h]ome education is a fundamental and natural right of all parents recognized in international human rights law.”

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“There is no human rights framework or treaty that recognizes that an education must be provided by government controlled schools, or in any particular school at all,” it noted.

However, on Feb. 21, officers arrived at the Rigals’ home to take them to the police station. The couple begged the police not to arrest them in front of their children and said that they would go to the station themselves later.

When they arrived, they were arrested and charged with “acting contrary to the normal development of a minor.”

A video of the couple at the police station shows Ramón explaining the situation.

“The accuse us of not sending the children to school. We are waiting here for God to help us. So, keep praying for us,” he states.

The Rigals, now released, are required to check in with the police on a weekly basis until their trial.

In the interim, HSLDA has launched a petition to the Cuban Embassy in Washington to request that it declare that families have a right to homeschool their children.

“A society that forces children to learn only in public school is totalitarian,” it reads in part. “The right of people to establish private schools and to homeschool is a minimum expectation in a free nation. As Cuban-U.S. relations are normalized, we must ensure that this right is upheld.”

“I call upon the Cuban government to immediately acknowledge the right of parents to homeschool their children and stop its mistreatment of the Rigal family.”


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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Cuba still carries atheistic tyranny. Atheism is oppressive with falsehood. Christian American homeschooling materials are excellent. Homeschooling is the best choice if Christian school is too expensive.

    • johndoe

      Sorry hon but atheism has nothing to do with it. It’s called communism and atheism isn’t necessary to be a communist

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Communists are atheists; that’s why they are oppressive. Unbelieving Americans don’t know the outside world.

        • johndoe

          Wrong again. What does being christian have anything to do with knowing the outside world?

          • Ambulance Chaser

            In Grace’s case, it prevents her.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Non-christian Americans care only about money and pleasure and power and fame. That’s why they worry about over-population. Only the Christian Americans know the human history and what the atheistic communists did in nations and who are suffering how and where on Planet Earth.

          • johndoe

            Where do you come up with this stuff? That’s just nonsense. The only difference is there faith.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            By reading and observing the Holy Bible, the history, news, and newsletters and talking to people. The Christian faith makes all the difference in human motives foundationally. Christianity alone is for life.

          • mtman2

            NO- you are wrong..for not even trying to grasp where she is coming from..
            The public school system has not taught the truth of the fact that communism has murdered 200+ million human beings in the last 100yrs while infecting and infesting humanity worldwide. Tho people that make it their business to know the truth know this. My own father was in firefights with communist terrorists in Eastern Europe to then flee here- he saw the murders and statist tyranny of that political structure.

            The knowledge of Christ is the single factor that changed the Western World.
            And Martin Luther clarified that muffled understanding of this to spread the personal reading of Scripture to the common man by breaking the geo-political hold the skewed Roman Ca-tholic church had.

            This personal understanding of Scripture directly spawned the Pilgrims and Puritans who then founded America to escape persecution for their honoring Faith. It was not Atheism/communism.

            Lenin picked Stalin for his hatred of peoples Faith in God= as the main impediment to their intentions- which is absolute statist power and control. Not “freedoms under Liberty” as constructed in OUR 3-Founding documents which directionally paving the way to true hope for mankind from histories dark ages past.
            It was the Christian hearted American Founding peoples wish at their core from the beginning to fascilitate this in the mind of the Framers.
            It was Scripture in every school room, every public meeting opened and closed with Christian prayer, as well as a Bible in every oath of office or swearing in- yet no test of denominational adherence for office. It still is today!
            And why the 1st part of the First-Amendment is first and worded the way it is. To protect Christianity NOT stifle it as now is obviously the case with no moral absolutes and running amok by legislating from the bench which is illegal and un-Constitutional. In Cuba it is state policy as showcased in this article.

            This’s NOT “nonsensense” nor “wrong” ~!

        • nineleven

          Read the short book written by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand (deceased) called Marx & Satan. He believes that at the core of communism it is satan worship based on the writings of Marx and other founders of communism who were clearly worshiping Satan and did what they did in order to hurt God. Wurmbrand was imprisoned by communists in Romania. He knows what he saw and read.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Yes, I read Richard Wurmbrand’s book. A deep, serious blessing to the Church. I heard what the atheists did and are doing directly from many eye-witnesses including my own family members because they massacred my countrymen only some decades ago and are still killing them in their controlling region.

            Psalm 14 and John 8 is for-ever universally true. Atheism is evil and it only kills and destroys. USA is so blessed to have Christianity’s dominion from the start to recent years. Good Christian USA beat the atheists everywhere last century for all mankind. Americans must never mock Christianity; of all Earthlings it’s too evil for Americans to do that.

      • FHRITP

        Your comment is better if you eliminate “Sorry hon but.”

  • hytre64✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Naturally – The STATE wants to be able to indoctrinate the children 8 hours per day without parental supervision. I believe that that is one reason that the Liberals in the US are so up in arms about our new Secretary of Education – as she supports parents having more say and more choice for their children vs. allowing the liberal education system to fill their minds.