Skip to comments.The Continuing Struggle for the Soul of Cuba
Posted on 04/11/2012 7:12:59 AM PDT by marshmallow
In the wake of Pope Benedict's visit, Cuban Catholics express frustration and anger as the Castro regime continues political repression and religious persecution.
A day before Pope Benedict XVIs historic visit to Cuba on March 26, I was in Arroyo Naranjo, one of Havanas poorest areas, meeting with Lilvio Fernandez Luis, a Catholic and the leader of JACU, or Joventud Activa Cuba Unida. Lilvio spent the day showing me the life he has worked hard to createa life built on a strong family and the courage to fight against the repression that the Cuban government has inflicted on its people for more than 53 years.
When I spoke with him, Lilvio wasnt planning to attend the papal Mass at the Plaza de Revolution in the center of Havana on March 28. I will attend Mass here at my home parish of St. Barbara just two blocks away, he explained. If I try and leave my neighborhood on the day of the Mass, I will most likely be detained by state security.
Lilvios situation was not unique. Although the Churchs goal was to reach out to the Cuban people during Pope Benedicts visit, many individuals and families found it difficult or impossible to participate in the three days of events organized by the Cuban Catholic Church and Vatican with permission from the islands Communist government. Despite the governments limitations, however, Lilvio and almost everyone I talked to during my time in Havana believed the Popes trip would be a positive spiritual experience, if not a positive political experience, for the people of Cuba.
Throughout the past five decades, the Communist government of Fidel and Raul Castro has consistently repressed institutions and organizations not under their strict control. Soon after the 1959 revolution, Fidel Castro declared Cuba an atheistic state and reduced the........
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicworldreport.com ...
The army and other organs of the state have become largely Afro-Cuban operations, and many newly empowered Afro-Cubans are in possession of properties left behind by the exiles. This will work as intended to make the transition to any sort of free government, or the return of exiles very difficult.
These lessons are not lost on Leftist regimes in our own country.