Dissidents in Cuba left waiting to hear Pope Francis preach about religious liberty

While you keep hearing about Pope Francis’ supposed “indirect jabs” against Cuba’s notoriously violent Castro dictatorship, his defenders miss the entire point. If the Pope’s “jabs” have to be pointed out and explained in order for people to know they were there, then they are not much much of a jab. The fact so many never caught these alleged jabs is because they were most likely empty platitudes.

Kristina Arriaga in USA Today:

Cuban dissidents long to hear Pope Francis preach religious liberty

Although U.S. remains shamefully silent about Cuban suppression of speech and worship, Pope Francis should speak up while world listens.


Like any pair of dictator-bullies, the Castro brothers can freely make jokes and speak about others, but will detain, beaten up, censor or imprison anyone who dares to do the same about them. This should come as no surprise. Fidel’s first dictatorial act against free journalism came in 1959 when he started by muzzling, not the main newspaper of Cuba, but Zig-Zag, the weekly Cuban version of Mad magazine, which had dared to run its first (and last) cartoon of Fidel.

Apparently this kind of free speech is something we as Americans should no longer find worthy of defense in Cuba.  While we rightly grieved in solidarity with many nations for the murdered cartoonists and journalists of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, inspiring “Je suis” pins, posters and Facebook postings, our government has remained silent when Cuban journalists, artists and writers have been censored and imprisoned.

For instance, mum has been the word when it comes to the arrest of young Cuban graffiti artist, “El Sexto.” According to reports smuggled out of Cuba, El Sexto, who has a wife and infant daughter, was imprisoned last December on a charge of contempt for having tried to carry out a performance with two pigs painted with the names of “Fidel” and “Raul.” Months after his arrest he has not been taken before a court. A few weeks ago according to his mother, he went on a hunger strike.