The withdrawal of Soviet aid in 1990 caused an economic downturn in Cuba, resulting in the rationing of energy, food and consumer goods.
Churches and other religious communities are required to undergo an invasive registration process with the Ministry of Justice. Restrictive laws as well as government-authorized surveillance and harassment allow the government to limit and monitor religious practice. Individual churches are prevented from maintaining their own finances, and any community deemed too independent of government control is targeted for harassment, such as fines, mob attacks, destruction of property and short-term arrests of leaders.
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