Cuban Archbishop Ortega lauds relationship with Castro regime, opposition disagrees

While Havana Archbishop Jaime Ortega was busy lauding the new and pleasant relationship between the Church in Cuba and the murderous Castro dictatorship, describing its collusion with the regime to forcibly exile hundreds of Cubans as a “happy episode,” the opposition in Cuba is voicing disagreement. Berta Soler, the spokesperson for the Ladies in White, explains the Cuban opposition’s disagreement with Cardinal Ortega, especially his claim that the subject of political prisoners in Cuba is closed.

Via El Nuevo Herald (my translation):

Opposition differs with Cardinal Ortega

http://media.elnuevoherald.com/smedia/2011/10/29/22/38/16ennx.Em.84.jpgMembers of the Cuban opposition movement reacted with caution to the statements made by Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, the Archbishop of Havana, who recently told foreign journalists that the subject of political prisoners in Cuba is closed.

Berta Soler, spokesperson for the Ladies in White, rejected his statements.

“For us, it is not a closed chapter since there are still many prisoners of conscience in Cuban prisons,” said Soler.

Under the leadership of Ortega, the Cuban Catholic Church and the government of Raul Castro initiated a dialog in search of better conditions for dissidents imprisoned for their political beliefs. As a product of those meetings, 130 prisoners were released, among them 52 activists and independent journalist from the Cause of the 75. Except for 12 opposition members, among them Oscar Elias Biscet, all accepted traveling to Spain.

[…]

In Cuba, Soler emphasized Ortega’s good will in promoting rapprochement with the authorities. Nevertheless, she declared that the Ladies in White will continue making their demands with or without the help of the Catholic Church.

“Until the laws used to persecute activists are abolished, political prisoners will continue to exist,” said Soler. “That is why we will continue advocating and struggling peacefully for that liberty that is denied,” she noted.

Former political prisoner from the Cause of the 75, Angel Moya, said that the Church has a social doctrine that it should follow, independent of the personal opinions of its members or supporters.

“We are talking about political prisoners locked up for talking about and defending human rights, rights that are a perfect part of the social doctrine of the Church,” said Moya. “I respect Ortega’s opinion, but I believe he is mistaken.”

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