Thank you Mr. President

Earlier this week Ziva posted a note asking readers to contact the White House and remind President Bush to discuss Cuba when he receives the Pope later this month. Readers will remember that the first foreign diplomat to LITERALLY BLESS the monarchical succession in Cuba was Cardinal Bertone, the Pope’s secretary of state.
Well it seems that we weren’t the only ones with that idea, the Cuban Liberty Council printed postcards addressed to the White House showing a grinning Bertone gladhanding raul castro (once upon a time CANF would have executed such a campaign, thanks Joedilocks). Apparently 30,000 of the postcards were sent according to a Herald blog post.

Bertone further inflamed the feelings of exiles by noting that Cuba seemed interested in exchanging political prisoners for five federal defendants convicted in Miami in connection with alleged spying for the Cuban government. The postcard rejected the notion of a prisoner-spy swap. The postcards, more than 30,000 of them were the idea of the Cuban Liberty Council.
“Since you will be meeting with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on April 16, 2008, we would like to respectfully remind you that those five spies, some serving life sentences in U.S. prisons, were found guilty for the murder of American citizens in international air space, as ordered by Fidel and Raul Castro,’’ the postcard says on its reverse side.

Message delivered. White House spokesman Blair Jones said “During the visit we expect the President and the Pope to discuss human rights in Cuba.’’
I hope president Bush bends Bertone’s ear and then some about it.

1 thought on “Thank you Mr. President”

  1. Henry,
    In my views Cardinal Bertone behavior during his visit to Cuba goes against God’s given values of freedom and justice and speaks volumes of the sad state the Roman Catholic Church is in today.
    I always felt that John Paul II visit to Cuba in 1998 benefited the tyranny because the Pope could have taken advantage of that visit and stand up more to Fidel Castro demanding freedom and democracy for Cuba in much stronger tones and unfortunately he did not.
    Actually I felt that the Pope somehow let Castro off the hook on that visit and missed a big opportunity to advance the cause of freedom in the island.
    Remember this was the Pope that stood-up to the Evil Soviet Empire in no uncertain terms even willing to leave the Vatican and grab a riffle to fight the Soviets (as it was publicized at the time). Yet when it came to Cuba he acted like he admired in some way shape or form Fidel Castro and that I cannot digest at all.
    John Paul II should have demanded a visit to Cuba’s political prisoners as a condition to his visit, and he did not.
    Once in Cuba he should have also demanded publicly (imagine the ruckus this would have created) a visit to Isla de Pinos or la Cabana facilities and pray for all those victims of Castro’s horrors and did not.
    Imagine the impact on the world public opinion watching the Pope in front of that wall in the Cabana prison praying for the souls of those executed there.
    Even if the regime had refused this request (and of course it would have, no doubt about it) at least it would have made a point of acknowledging the horrors committed by the tyranny and expose them more to the outside world.
    Remember the whole international press followed the Pope on his visit to Cuba and it would have been a publicity coup for him to bring these issues on the table.
    What Fidel Castro could have done besides refuse these requests?
    Throw the Pope out of Cuba?
    Well, who would have looked extremely bad in the eyes of world opinion for that action?
    I can assure you, not the Pope.
    Instead almost everywhere the Pope went, there was Fidel Castro tagging along acting as his tour guide and this did not make a good impression on me.
    That’s why it pains me to say that I don’t have any faith whatsoever that my Roman Catholic Church playing any positive role in advancing Cuba’s transition to Democracy.
    It pains me to say that the church leader’s actions have long demonstrated some sort of complicity with the regime at a time when they could have made a big difference in helping free the island from Communism.
    I’m sure that President Bush very politely and diplomatically will raise human rights issues in Cuba to the Pope when he visits.
    Unfortunately I feel that it won’t be enough because the time have come to hold the Roman Catholic Church leaders in Rome somehow accountable in terms of forty nine years of complicity with Castro’s regime.
    Unfortunately this won’t happen, because in this world we live today too much bullshit, diplomacy and political correctness gets in the way of doing what is right.

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