"People are rioting because they feel desperate," says David González Daniel, the Vice President of the Western Baptist Convention in Cuba.

"We've been experiencing a very obscure time in Cuba. I've never had something like this before in my lifetime," says Daniel.

Born in 1970, Daniel lives in the capital city, Havana, and says he's never seen something like what's happening in Cuba right now. 

"It's been a long process of the deterioration of living conditions of the Cubans since the beginning of the pandemic. Every single Cuban has been suffering from a shortage of supplies and availability of food and first need items."

Daniel shares that it's been like a pressure cooker, building pressure on the people there. It exploded last Sunday, July 11, 2021, when people decided to start protesting. 

"We have protests all around our country. At the beginning, it was something peaceful. Basically, people expressing themselves, but later it turned out violent and really sad for all the Cubans to see what was happening in our country."

As a man of Christian faith, Daniel has seen people without the gospel feel utterly hopeless in the current situation. 

"Sometimes we talk about a light at the end of a tunnel. We're in a different tunnel, there's not a way out. It's a problem over a problem, difficulty over a difficulty."

According to him, the entire country is a mess, positive COVID-19 cases are in the thousands per day, the provinces of Matanzas and Ciego de Avila are in chaos. There are no doctors, no medicine, no resources,  and people are dying in collapsed hospitals.

"Cuba decided to work on their own vaccines. We already have five candidates, and one is already approved. My wife, my oldest son, and I already have two shots out of three. But that´s only in Havana where the amount of cases has been increasing since the beginning of 2021. In some other portions of the country, they have been vaccinating doctors and medical personal," he says. 

Like many countries, Cubans have been unable to meet and worship together in a church for most of the pandemic. 

"It's been really difficult but at the same time, it's been an opportunity for the churches to explore the possibilities with social media and networks. Basically, every single church has a What's App group where they get in touch with each other."

In Daniel's church, they have a Bible study every day. He's seen people baptized as well. 

"It's been very interesting seeing people over the last year growing up in their faith through that Bible study. The gospel brings hope to the person receiving the message, and that's something the Cuban people really need."

The sense of community allows Christians in Cuba to face these hardships.

"People who belong to a church, they help each other, they have a backup plan and they are not alone. That's very desirable for the regular Cubans that don't know the Lord."

Prayer Requests

"Pray for our government and our health care authorities," says Daniel. "We need them to make good decisions regarding what the Cuban people need. As the Bible commands us we truly need to pray for the government, our political leaders."

Daniel also asks Christians to pray over the families of Cuba. He asks for people to pray that the gospel spreads in each home and that families talk about matters of faith.

"It's an invaluable opportunity to share our Christian point of view with our sons regarding what is happening in Cuba. Also pray for the Pastors and Christian leaders in Cuba, our missionaries. For them to continue to work and preach the gospel, help in their communities, and remain focused on the great commission."

The connection to Daniel came from a Christian organization out of London, Ontario called Christian Missions Resource Centre. The ministry support pastors in Latin America, including Cuba. 

"We provide finances, support, and in Cuba specifically we provide salaries for about 25 pastors. That includes two chaplains in the prison system," says Reverend Douglas Springer of CMRC.

A few Christian artists have also asked people to pray over the Central American country.