Poland’s Lech Walesa urges Benedict XVI to help Cuban dissidents
Lech Walesa has been steadfast in his support for a free Cuba. I pray that his letter, as well as the letter from Dr. Carlos Eire, the pleas of the Ladies in White, and others will not fall of deaf ears. I pray they will sway the Pope to intercede with the tyrants in Havana on behalf of the Cuban people instead of the public relations tour for the regime it now appears to be.
By Juan O. Tamayo
Former Polish President Lech Walesa has written to Pope Benedict XVI urging him to “take up the defense of those Cubans who are demanding freedom” during his visit to the communist-ruled island next week.
“I beg Your Holiness to intercede for those who are in prison because of their convictions,” wrote Walesa, a former dissident who headed the Solidarity labor movement that helped oust Poland’s communist government.
“I implore Your Holiness to take up the defense of those Cubans who are demanding freedom at the risk of persecutions and humiliation,” he added in the letter, dated March 8 and made public Monday by the Lech Walesa Institute in Warsaw.
In his letter, Walesa also recalled that Pope John Paul II’s visit to his native Poland in 1979 had a powerful impact on the strongly Catholic nation, under communist rule since the Soviet military occupation that followed World War II.
The visit “not only awakened in us, the Polish people, the hope of change but above all freed our will to take action,” he wrote.
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