According to Cuba’s dictator Raul Castro, respect for human rights is a Utopian fantasy

Because how can you run an efficient and obscenely profitable apartheid dictatorship when you have to worry about trivial things like human rights?

Via Diario de Cuba (translation by Translating Cuba):

Raul Castro Tells UN that Human Rights Are ‘a Utopia’

The general stands in defense of Latin American populist governments and criticizes democracies with parties “alien and distant from the aspirations of the people.”

General Raul Castro affirmed this Monday, in his speech before the General Assembly of the UN, that the enjoyment of human rights is “a utopia,” and he criticized the fact that, according to him, “their promotion and protection is distorted.” “They are used as a selective and discriminatory way of imposing political decisions,” he remarked.

The ruler began his speech with reference to the “unacceptable militarization of cyberspace and information technology.” And he lamented that since the emergence of the fundamental charter of human rights, there have been “constant wars and interventions, forcible overthrows by government forces and soft coups.”

In this sense, he defended the freedom of countries to choose their own political, economic, social and cultural system, and he explicitly defended the governments of Nicolas Maduro and Rafael Correa, respectively.

The general asserted that the cause of the conflicts is found in “poverty,” originating, according to what he said, “in colonialism first and imperialism later.”

“The commitment assumed in 1945 to promote social progress and elevate the standard of living for people and their economic and social development is still a chimera,” he emphasized, pointing out that “795 million people suffer hunger, 781 million adults are illiterate, 17,000 children die every day of incurable illnesses, while military expenses are 1.7 trillion dollars worldwide.”

The ruler indicated that “with only a fraction of this amount they could solve the most pressing problems that afflict humanity.”

Castro also asserted that “even in industrialized countries social welfare states have practically disappeared” and added that “the electoral systems and parties depend on money and publicity.” They are, he said, “increasingly alien and distant from the aspirations of the people.”

Part of his address focused also on warning of the ravages of climate change and particularly the serious consequences for “small island nations.”

Castro also spoke of migration problems without reference to the Cuban problem. Instead, he appealed to the European Union to “assume its responsibilities” in the current humanitarian crisis “that it helped to create.”

As on previous occasions, Castro reminded us that the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba will be completed with the end of the embargo, the end of broadcasts by Radio and Television Marti, the return of the Guantanamo naval base, and reparations for damages caused to the Cuban people by sanctions. He also asked for the end to “subversion” programs directed at promoting changes on the Island.

Translated by Mary Lou Keel

Los Pichy Boys: Cuba’s Raul Castro meets President Obama


Leave it to the Pichy Boys to come up with this stuff…

La Noticia del Dia "La Reunion de Raul y Obama" Los Pichy Boy

En el dia de hoy se reunieron en New York el presidente Obama y Raul Castro, Los Pichy Boys pusieron una camara escondida y esto fue lo que capto!!! Dale Share like y comenta !! No Olvides seguirnos en Instagram @LosPichyBoys

Posted by Los Pichy Boys on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Reports from Cuba: The CDR: Social control begins in the neighborhood or the village

By Ivan Garcia:

The CDR: Social Control Begins in the Neighborhood or the Village

When the bearded guerrilla Fidel Castro on the night of 28 September 1960 founded a system of collective surveillance in every neighborhood, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs), civil society in Cuba was annulled until further notice.

Not even Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany, with its full record of social intrusions, had structured a system of neighborhood cooperatives with espionage services.

The most similar equivalent might be Benito Mussolini’s Black Shirts, a paramilitary corps behind numerous episodes of physical or verbal violence and aggression against its political adversaries in Italy during the 1920s.

However, with the CDRs, Fidel Castro expanded the scope of action. Just as they might arrange the verbal lynching of a dissident or denounce a neighbor for suspicion of “illicit enrichment,” they might also volunteer in a children’s polio vaccination campaign or a collection of raw materials.

If the repressive action of State Security is the right hand of the regime, the CDRs comprise a legitimizing entity for government policies.

Be it out of double standards, irresponsibility, or routine, more than 7-million people in Cuba are in the CDRs. As of the age of 14, in an almost automatic fashion, the residents of a neighborhood all join the organization.

Two decades ago, besides collective vigilance, they would also have tedious political debates to dissect Castro’s latest speech, perform nighttime guard duty to protect State interests, and put on blood drives.

Every neighbor contributes a monthly quota of five Cuban pesos ($0.25 US) to the organization. In the sinister mechanism of social control devised by Castro, the CDRs are an effective weapon.

To obtain an important position at work, you must first go through the filter of your block Committee. Without a letter from your CDR or an approval following an investigation of you by the Party, the Young Communist League, or Special Services, it is impossible to climb up in the extravagant Cuban social fabric.

As of the 21st Century, the organization is in shambles. By now, the watchdog rounds are hardly ever carried out, and even the local parties, with neighbors sipping soup and dancing reggaeton, are few and far between.

But the CDRs continue to be the primary ears for the political police. Any government opponent or independent journalist is surveilled by one or more members of the Committee.

This amateur espionage includes noting the vehicle registrations of embassy cars and foreigners who visit your house. In addition, they find out your standard of living, expenses, vices and habits–even what you eat.

Read more

Meet the Castro regime’s business gatekeeper who will ensure all U.S. investment goes to support Cuba’s apartheid regime

So, tell us again Mr. President (and all the rest of the proponents of lifting sanctions against Cuba’s repressive apartheid regime) how billions of U.S. dollars invested in Cuba’s viciously repressive apartheid regime will bring democracy and freedom to the island.

Michael Smith in Bloomberg:

Want to Do Business in Cuba? All Roads Lead to Raúl Castro’s Son-in-Law

Things are changing rapidly in Cuba, and people from around the world are eager to get in on the action. Wait until they meet their new partner.
Half or more of Cuba’s business activity runs through General Luis Alberto Rodriguez.

Omar Everleny Pérez is eager to show me how far Raúl Castro’s overhaul of Cuba’s socialist economy has advanced, and so, on a muggy evening in August, the 54-year-old economist invites me into his home in Havana’s Marianao neighborhood. Above his cramped desk, shelves sag under the weight of economics books and monographs, including more than a dozen that Pérez wrote. “Just look at this,” he says, pointing to the screen of his wheezy black desktop PC. He clicks on a file, and scenes of Havana’s colonial-era port appear. A female narrator with a soothing voice describes a 14-part government plan to replace the gritty piers with cruise ship terminals, restaurants, and hotels, all to be bankrolled by foreign investors. Run-down warehouses fade digitally into luxury apartments, shops and offices, and marinas crowded with yachts. Little virtual people jog and bike along greenways where an oil refinery now sits, and a ferry glides into a modern glass-and-steel terminal.

“It’s really visionary, what they want to do, if you think about it,” says Pérez, a professor at the University of Havana and a researcher at the influential Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy.

Later, a few steps from the port in Old Havana, I see the city’s redevelopment in progress. Near El Floridita, where Ernest Hemingway once knocked back daiquiris, the hulking Manzana de Gómez building is being transformed into a five-star hotel. Stylish boutiques sell perfume and stereos. Inside an old warehouse is a microbrewery teeming with people drinking lager made in huge steel tanks imported from Austria.

What isn’t immediately apparent to a person taking a walk on a warm Caribbean night is that all of this—and anything else that stands to make money in Old Havana, and much of the rest of the country—is run by a man who is little known outside the opaque circles of Cuba’s authoritarian regime. A quiet general in the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Cuba’s multibranch military, he has spent his life around the communist elite that served Fidel Castro’s revolution. Yet he is chairman of the largest business empire in Cuba, a conglomerate that comprises at least 57 companies owned by the Revolutionary Armed Forces and operated under a rigid set of financial benchmarks developed over decades. It’s a decidedly capitalist element deeply embedded within socialist Cuba.

This is Luis Alberto Rodriguez. For the better part of three decades, Rodriguez has worked directly for Raúl Castro. He’s the gatekeeper for most foreign investors, requiring them to do business with his organization if they wish to set up shop on the island. If and when the U.S. finally removes its half-century embargo on Cuba, it will be this man who decides which investors get the best deals.

Rodriguez doesn’t just count Castro as a longtime boss. He’s family. More than 20 years ago, Rodriguez, a stocky, square-jawed son of a general, married Deborah Castro, Raúl’s daughter. In the past five years, Castro has vastly increased the size of Rodriguez’s business empire, making him one of the most powerful men in Cuba. Rodriguez’s life is veiled in secrecy. He’s rarely been photographed or quoted in the media, and his age isn’t publicly known. (He’s thought to be 55.) Rodriguez and the other Cuban government officials in this story declined multiple requests for comment.


But Castro has kept the big-money industries in the hands of the state, and much of it is managed by his son-in-law. (Or former son-in-law; there are rumors, difficult to confirm, that Rodriguez and Deborah Castro have divorced.) Rodriguez’s Grupo de Administración Empresarial runs companies that account for about half the business revenue produced in Cuba, says Peréz. Other economists say it may be closer to 80 percent.

GAESA, as it’s called (it’s pronounced guy-A-suh), owns almost all of the retail chains in Cuba and 57 of the mainly foreign-run hotels from Havana to the country’s finest Caribbean beaches. GAESA has restaurant and gasoline station chains, rental car fleets, and companies that import everything from cooking oil to telephone equipment. Rodriguez is also in charge of Cuba’s most important base for global trade and foreign investment: a new container ship terminal and 465-square-kilometer (180-square-mile) foreign trade zone in Mariel.

Read the entire article HERE.

Repression in Cuba has increased since Obama’s surrender to Castro dictatorship


Pam Key in Breitbart:

MSNBC’s Diaz-Balart: Since Obama Renewed Relations, Cuba Has ‘Increased Repression’

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily,” Jose Diaz-Balart, host of “The Rundown,” said since President Barack Obama opened up diplomatic relations, Cuba is violating human rights with political prisoners and described it as a “increase of repression.”

Responding to Raul Castro’s call to end the U.S. embargo on Cuba during his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, Diaz-Balart said, “You know, the embargo, if you look at how it was codified into law, it’s pretty basic and simple on how the embargo would be lifted. How all of the blockades that exist between the United States being able to fully have economic relations and support for the Cuban government. It’s pretty simple how that would go away. If there is a call for free and fair elections, if political prisoners are released, if unions are allowed to organize and people can move freely within the country. If those three things happen in Cuba, then the embargo would cease to exist. So it’s almost as if people are speaking in New York on different planets, because it’s pretty simple. You call for democratic elections,  you have a release of political prisoners, and have unions and the embargo’s over.”

Host Chuck Todd asked, “Ever since the United States cut this deal and opened up diplomatic relations with Cuba, tell me what’s happened to political prisoners in Cuba.”

Diaz-Balart replied, “Well, the increase of repression has been clear. A young man, El Sexto, who is an artist, currently in a prison in Cuba, no charges against him. He’s on a hunger strike, very close to death, and that is because, in an art exhibit, he brought out an art exhibit that had two apparently paper mache pigs. One said Fidel and one said Raul. And for that art exhibit, he’s close to death. Over the weekend, 70 people were arrested in Cuba. That includes Ladies of White and dissidents. The three dissidents that tried to approach the pope are still unaccounted for in prison. A lot of questions by Raul Castro, but what is going to cause a change in that government that’s been in power since January 1st of 1959?”

Host Chuck Todd added,”It was very important, I thought, we bring up that political prisoner point. These are people that the pope supposedly was blessing all these things. They put on a good show. Then when we all leave, something seems to change.”

Which condition for lifting sanctions against Cuba’s apartheid regime does Obama disagree with?

Apparently, President Obama feels that freedom, respect for human rights, and the end of apartheid in Cuba is way too much to ask of the racist and repressive Castro dictatorship. The president wants all sanctions against the apartheid Castro regime lifted without any concessions or conditions. It seems that America’s first black president has no qualms supporting and embracing Cuba’s violently repressive and racist apartheid regime.

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Which Conditions for Lifting the Cuban Embargo Does Obama Disagree With?

Yesterday, during his remarks at the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama stated:

I’m confident that our Congress will inevitably lift an embargo that should not be in place anymore.

Obama is partly right.

The U.S. Congress will eventually lift the embargo — but only upon the fulfillment of some very basic conditions in U.S. law.

These conditions are consistent with the democratic and human rights standards of 34 out of 35 nations in the Western Hemisphere.

(Though, ironically, Venezuela continues on a downwards spiral away from these standards — thanks in no small part to Cuba’s manipulation of the Chavez/Maduro governments.)

Thus, the questions should be —

Why does Obama want the U.S. Congress to unilaterally discard any of these conditions?

Does Obama not agree with these conditions?

Which one of these conditions does Obama oppose?

Is it, for example —

The condition that Cuba “legalizes all political activity“?

The condition that Cuba “releases all political prisoners and allows for investigations of Cuban prisons by appropriate international human rights organizations“?

The condition that Cuba “dissolves the present Department of State Security in the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, including the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution and the Rapid Response Brigades“?

The condition that Cuba “makes a public commitments to organizing free and fair elections for a new government”?

The condition that Cuba “makes public commitments to and is making demonstrable progress in establishing an independent judiciary; respecting internationally recognized human rights and basic freedoms as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Cuba is a signatory nation; allows the establishment of independent trade unions as set forth in conventions 87 and 98
of the International Labor Organization, and allows the establishment of independent social,
economic, and political associations”?

The condition that Cuba give “adequate assurances that it will allow the speedy and efficient distribution of assistance to the Cuban people“?

The condition that Cuba is “effectively guaranteeing the rights of free speech and freedom of the press, including granting permits to privately owned media and telecommunications companies to operate in Cuba“?

The condition that Cuba is “assuring the right to private property“?

The condition that Cuba is “taking appropriate steps to return to United States citizens (and entities which are 50 percent or more beneficially owned by United States citizens) property taken by the Cuban Government from such citizens and entities on or after January 1, 1959, or to provide equitable compensation to such citizens and entities for such property“?

The condition that Cuba has “extradited or otherwise rendered to the United States all persons sought by the United States Department of Justice for crimes committed in the United States“?

Let’s not speak of the embargo in vague terms.

If Obama is suggesting for Congress to unilaterally discard these conditions, then he should specifically state which ones he disagrees with — and why.

Moreover, Obama should explain how turning a blind-eye to these basic conditions in U.S. law would not send a horrible message to the Cuban people about the United States’ priorities, nor have dramatic short- and long-term consequences for the behavior of other pseudo-authoritarians in the region.

Reports from Cuba: Repression of science

By Waldo Fernandez Cuenca in Translating Cuba:

Repression of Science

Oscar Antonio Casanella Saint-Blancard, bio-chemist, researcher for the National Institute for Oncology and Radiobiology, speaks of how he is pressured and prevented from fully carrying out his work because of his friendship with dissidents.
Oscar Antonio Casanella Saint-Blancard, Waldo Fernandez Cuenca, Havana, 25 September 2015 — It all started because of a party for his best friend, Ciro Diaz, at the end of 2013. Ciro Diaz, besides being a graduate in Mathematics from the University of Havana, has just one remarkable characteristic: He is a dissident and member of the band Porno for Ricardo. Soon came the threats from State Security to make him a prisoner if he engaged in the activity.

Then came the accusations at work of his being “mercenary” and “annexationist*.” But at no time was this young man, a bio-chemist by profession, intimidated, and he resisted the wishes of his oppressors. Oscar Antonio Casanella Saint-Blancard has kept his ties of friendship with Ciro and other opposition figures.

Casanella made his case known to the independent project Estado de Sats and was also arrested during the wave of repression unleashed by the performance by activist and artist Tania Bruguera at the end of last year. Since that time his harassment by State Security has continued, principally at his place of employment: The National Institute for Oncology and Radio-biology (INOR) where he serves as a researcher.

We talked about his current work situation and the plight of the Cuban health system. In spite of the difficulties he has lived through, Oscar has never lost his smile, and he maintains the same composure as always, which has lead to his repressors to try to corner him.

What situation are you in right now?

Right now I am subjected to psychological warfare in the workplace. Not just me, but also my co-workers, and it hurts me more for them than for myself because I have already overcome my fear, but my colleagues have not.

What does the psychological warfare consist of?

The doctor and deputy director of research for INOR, Lorenzo Anasagasti Angulo, has been pressuring and coercing my co-workers, above all the laboratory managers, to not let me into the various labs of the Center. He explains that there is a labor rule that says that access to these places is restricted, and that is true, but it only applies in my case, because the other researchers enter and exit the various labs without any restriction, while my access is impeded. I think I am treated very differently and discriminated against.

Read more

Consequences of the new U.S. policy toward Cuba

By the University of Miami’s Dr. Jaime Suchlicki in Cuba Focus:

Consequences of the New U.S. Policy Toward Cuba that the dust has settled somewhat from the storm produced by the Obama administration’s new policy toward Cuba, it is possible to analyze some of its consequences.

The most obvious ones are permitting more American tourists to visit Cuba; allowing Cuban-Americans to increase remittances; increasing the revenue of the Cuban government; and removing Cuba from the list of countries supporting terrorism. Expectations in the island have grown that these policies will bring more changes and increase prosperity.

Yet, there are other more significant, long term consequences. First, concerned about the possibility of unrest and U.S. subversion in the island, General Raul Castro’s administration has increased substantially repression against dissidents and the population in general. The aim is to maintain complete control and to prevent civil disobedience. Repression is likely to intensify and to continue.

Second, there is a growing fear in Cuba that the new U.S. policy will lead to the end, or at least the modification, of the Cuban Adjustment Act. This is producing an urgency to leave the island. Out migration by sea and thru third countries is increasing. This is likely to accelerate.

Third, the divide between Cuban whites and blacks in the island is increasing. Remittances from Cuban-Americans, mostly white, go to their friends and relatives in Cuba. Cuban blacks receive little from abroad. Tourism has little impact on areas prominently black in eastern Cuba. The perception among blacks that the Castro government cares little about them, and the reality that the government hierarchy, both military and Communist Party, is primarily white, is increasing a sense of alienation and frustration. This unintended consequent of U.S. policy does not bode well for Cuba’s future.

Finally, the Castro regime is re-asserting its close relationship with and allegiance to Cuba’s old allies, Russia, Iran and Venezuela. Agreements between Castro and Putin call for more visits by Russian navy and air force to Cuba. Raul Castro continues to support Iran’s nuclear ambitions as well as to maintain his commitment to the survival of the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

Obviously, U.S. policies are not moving the Castro regime in a desirable direction. As a matter of fact, the regime is becoming more entrenched and inflexible in the face of American overtures and policies. This is likely to continue as the regime prepares for succession to a new, younger military cadre led by close members of the Castro clan. Raul Castro has been promoting his son Col. Alejandro Castro Espin and his son in law General Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez Callejas, as key players in his succession plans. What is not in his plans are closer relations with the U.S., a political transition, or respect for human rights.

Quote of the Day – While Castro lies and the Pope speaks in parables, Cuba’s democrats continue fight for freedom and dignity

By Jose Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Cuban pro-democracy opposition group UNPACU, in Diario de Cuba (translation by Capitol Hill Cubans):


“While the dictator lies cynically at the U.N. talking about peace, harmony and social justice; while the Pope speaks in parables in Cuba but very directly in the United States; while many only think about coming to do business with the dictatorship that exploits all Cubans and, others, in enjoying the charms of our tropical archipelago; we, Cuban democrats, continue to fight for the dignity of our nation.”

Why we are protesting Raul Castro in New York City

John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Why we are protesting Raul Castro in New York City

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel, Nobel Lecture 1986
Protests on September 28th at the UN and Cuban Mission

On September 28, 2015 in New York City at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations and in front of the United Nations Cuban exiles gathered to protest Raul Castro. The question asked by many was why we were protesting?

Below is an attempt to provide a succinct answer.

1. After 56 years of totalitarian dictatorship that has wrecked the country Cubans would like a government that respects human rights and consults the Cuban people in fair, multiparty elections with international supervision. Cubans have a right to their rights and the exercise of popular sovereignty.

2. Raul Castro personally ordered the shoot down of two Brothers to the Rescue planes on February 24, 1996 that killed four individuals. He should be tried for crimes against humanity.

3. Across the street from the Cuban Mission to the United Nations the Democracy Movement erected an exhibition of rafts with the photos of the children murdered in the July 13, 1994 tugboat massacre in which 37 Cubans were killed.

4. During the Obama administration’s process of normalizing relations that began in 2009 with the first round of loosening sanctions the regime has responded with escalating levels of violence and repression including murdering opposition leaders such as Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero on July 22, 2012.

Continue reading HERE.

Pope Francis and his unconquerable delusion

Mona Charen in Townhall:

Redistribution: The Unconquerable Delusion

“A pope that mentions Dorothy Day is a pope that rocks,” tweeted Neera Tanden of the left-leaning Center for American Progress. Tanden might have wished to reel back that praise if she had known that Day, though a prominent pacifist and socialist, was also a fervent opponent of abortion, birth control, Social Security and the sexual revolution.

It’s fitting that Pope Francis should have invoked Dorothy Day among his pantheon of great Americans — she’s a symbol of where leftists always go wrong. This pope is going wrong in the same way. The left’s delusions of “social justice” seem indomitable — impervious to evidence.

The pope lauded Day for “her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, (which) were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.”

Let’s assume that Day’s motives were as pure as Pope Francis described: Does having the right motives excuse everything?

Day’s interpretation of the Gospel led her to oppose the U.S. entry into World War II, which arguably would have led to a world dominated by Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. How would that have worked out for the poor and the oppressed?

Though her social views were heterodox for a leftist, Day was a supporter of Fidel Castro and found very kind things to say about North Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh. She visited Leonid Brezhnev in the Kremlin and leant her moral support to other communist regimes despite their persecution of Catholics and others.

Of Castro, Day said, “I am most of all interested in the religious life of the people and so must not be on the side of a regime that favors the extirpation of religion. On the other hand, when that regime is bending all its efforts to make a good life for the people … one cannot help but be in favor of the measures taken.”

According to “The Black Book of Communism,” between 1959 and the late 1990s, more than 100,000 (out of about 10 million) Cubans spent time in the island’s gulag. Between 15,000 and 19,000 were shot. One of the first was a young boy in Che Guevara’s unit who had stolen a little food. As for quality of life, it has declined compared with its neighbors. In 1958, Cuba had one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Today, as the liberal New Republic describes it:

“The buildings in Havana are literally crumbling, many of them held upright by two-by-fours. Even the cleanest bathrooms are fetid, as if the country’s infrastructural bowels might collectively evacuate at any minute.

“Poverty in Cuba is severe in terms of access to physical commodities, especially in rural areas. Farmers struggle, and many women depend on prostitution to make a living. Citizens have few material possessions and lead simpler lives with few luxuries and far more limited political freedom.”

This left-leaning pope (who failed to stand up for the Cuban dissidents who were arrested when attempting to attend a mass he was conducting) and our left-leaning president have attributed Cuba’s total failure to the U.S.

It’s critically important to care about the poor — but if those who claim to care for the poor and the oppressed stand with the oppressors, what are we to conclude?

Continue reading HERE.

Reports from Cuba: Justice before delivering forgiveness?

By Miriam Celaya in Translating Cuba:

Justice Before Delivering Forgiveness?


Cubanet, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 24 September 2015 — The recent visit to Cuba of the Bishop of Rome, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, brought a flood of masses and homilies in several different settings, where, among others, two words were often heard in the context of the Cuban landscape: forgiveness and reconciliation. They were all the more curious since they were not evoked at the same time as those other words to which they are unavoidably related: offense, confession and repentance.

In this fashion, Francis urged all Cubans, believers or not, to reconciliation in the abstract and forgiveness of no particular offense, an exhortation so cryptic and watered-down that it well could have been uttered anywhere in the world. Who are the offenders and the offended, what do offenses consist of, whose turn is it to forgive and who will be the forgiven were matters that were left to each individual to ponder. The Pope also spoke of “suffering of the poor,” of “respect to differences” and many other similar phrases that can assume conflicting interpretations according to one’s point of view.

In any case, forgiveness and reconciliation have different nuances, depending whether they stem from theology or from politics. Let us assume, then, that Francis remained more attached to the first, given his status as a clergyman, though we must not forget that he is also a head of State, a politician and a diplomacy maker representing very particular interests – beyond his good intentions towards the Cuban people — and with no responsibility at all for solving the serious problems facing our nation.

In case there is doubt, the Pope had announced himself in advance as ‘missionary of mercy’, which strips this visit — at least in the obvious — of any political overtones. It is fair to understand the Supreme Pontiff’s delicate position that aims to sail to a safe harbor. Further considering his complicated role as mediator between God and Catholics, and even between rival governments — as has been plainly demonstrated on issues of the restoration of US-Cuba relations — it could be argued that he played his role with dignity during his stay in Cuba.

Because of this, anyone who had expected the Pope to give the dictatorship a scolding, to extend some considerate gesture towards the dissidence or to adopt a position of outright rejection of the Lords of the Palace of the Revolution has been greatly disappointed. The Pope might have done more, but we already know that the ways of God’s ministers on earth are as inscrutable as the Lord’s.

However, once we acknowledge the unpredictability of words, the time may be is right to put them in context and give them the interpretation they deserve from a closer perspective to mundane issues. Let us try to reconcile Bergoglio’s case against reality, plainly assuming that the Pontiff might have implied that Cubans should forgive crimes and abuses inflicted by a dictatorship about to celebrate its 57th healthy anniversary in power, a regime that has never shown any interest in our forgiveness, never confessed its countless mortal sins, and remains ever reluctant to show any repentance.

Should we merely forgive the oppressors, informers and other despicable humanoid instruments used by the dictatorial power to repress, which they continued to do even at the very moment when the Pope launched his message of peace? Is Bergoglio asking of us, without further ado, to place a veil of piety over victims of the firing squads, over the innocent dead of the “13 de Marzo” tugboat and over all the crimes committed by the Cuban dictatorship over more than half century?

He does not have the right to do so.

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