A few questions for President Obama

One of the lesser mentioned provisions of Obama’s executive order to relax restrictions against the Cuban dictatorship is increased exchanges between church groups in Cuba and the U.S. According to the official statement from the White House, this provision is simply described as such:

“Allow religious organizations to sponsor religious travel to Cuba under a general license.”

According to the wisdom of the White House, and the wisdom of the usual smattering of non-Cuban “Cuba Experts,” this interchange between religious groups in Cuba and religious groups in the U.S. — along with the other provisions — “are important steps in reaching the widely shared goal of a Cuba that respects the basic rights of all its citizens.”

Although this call for religious interaction may seem wonderful and pretty quoted in a newspaper or read off a teleprompter, it begs the question: Just what type of religious interaction does the Obama administration expect will help reach the widely shared goal of respect for human rights in Cuba?

Is it the type of religious interaction for which Alan Gross has been held hostage in Cuba by the regime these last 13 months?

Just what type of religious interaction does the Obama administration believe will both foster the respect of human rights in Cuba, and at the same time not upset a totalitarian and brutal regime with zero tolerance for any mention of its human rights violations? Exactly how is this change in policy going to help churches in Cuba when the Castro regime continues its repression of religious groups on the island?

In a video smuggled out of Cuba, a Castro official is caught admitting that the regime will not tolerate churches undermining the stranglehold on power the Castro dictatorship enjoys and will destroy them if they attempt it. The following is a transcript of statements by Caridad Diego Bello, the head of the Religious Affairs Office of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, explaining the dictatorship’s strategy on churches who do not submit to the Castro regime:

“[W]e are taking measures and will continue to take measures, the hands of our authorities will not waver, and I don’t do this in a manner of warning but rather to inform, so that the illegalities that groups like these are committing can be countered in every province and in every territory… there are some would-be leaders of these type of organizations that have had been relocated from their homes, that have lost their temple. There are people that visit us that will no longer be able to enter the country again, there are people that have been fined for facilitating the violation of immigration status by foreigners in Cuba, we have confiscated literature because it has not entered the country via the appropriate channels, but rather under the table.”

So, I am curious to know, President Obama: Just how do you expect this plan of yours to work when nothing in it addresses the repression that takes place in Cuba?

4 thoughts on “A few questions for President Obama”

  1. The kind of groups that will be tolerated are the groups that have been going to Cuba for years:

    -NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
    -PASTORS FOR PEACE
    -THE ARCHDIOCESE OF THE BOSTON CATHOLIC CHURCH
    -THOSE THOSE ULTRA-LIBERAL JEWISH CONGREGATIONS THAT PEOPLE LIKE STEVEN SPIELBERG BELONG TO THAT GO TO CUBA TO STAY AT EL HOTEL RAQUEL AND HAVE FUN BY THE BEACH

  2. Alberto, you’re confused. Who said this policy is really meant to work as advertised? Who said this is on the level and done in good faith? Who said this is anything other than the usual run-around?

  3. And that Caridad Diego is a major piece of work–an abject Castro lackey blasphemously and sacrilegiously masquerading as “religious.” But of course, the very idea of a “Religious Affairs Office of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party” is patently fraudulent, for obvious reasons. Sort of like a “Jewish Relations Office of the Nazi Party.”

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