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Thursday, September 03, 2015

Shut Up, I Explained

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (CNS) -- Pope Francis' visit to Cuba is a sign of his closeness to the nation's people at a time they "breathe the air of hope" that relations with the U.S. will improve, said Bishop Wilfredo Pino Estevez of Guantanamo-Baracoa.

Bishop Wilfredo Pino Estevez
 "It's not easy to live at odds with your next door neighbor," Bishop Pino wrote in a Sept. 1 pastoral letter. "That's why it's very important what the pope is coming to do, as the universal pastor of the church, in the search for reconciliation and peace among all peoples of the earth.''

 Yes, because all the problems of Cuba can be solved if we (the US) weren't such meanies.

 From USA Today:

If a recent Univision Noticias surveyof Cubans is any indication, Soler is not alone in that assessment: 75% of respondents said that when it comes to politics, they "have to be careful about what to say" in public. The Obama administration and Pope Francis hoped a thawing would open the political system, but more than half of Cubans polled believe politics will remain the same. Still more don't think the Cuban government will allow other political parties to exist after a normalization of relations.
But Castro's crackdown seems to be more about religious freedom than the ballot box. "Many times, we haven't been able to get to church," Soler  told the National Review at this year's Oslo Freedom Forum. "The few who actually do make it to church have been detained for over five hours. They have been beaten." This might be why Soler is more than a little frustrated with her spiritual shepherd. "The European Union, the USA, Pope Francis — they have turned their backs on us," she said.

 While the Vatican is busy planning his September visit to the Caribbean island, Pope Francis would do well not to forget his own history and consider canceling the trip. The pope should re-examine the optics of putting a dictator over his flock.