Thursday, April 12, 2012
Pope back in Rome, Cubans back in Cuba
As we mentioned a week ago, we were very disappointed with Pope Benedict's visit to Cuba. We weren't expecting miracles but an invitation to "las damas en blanco" to attend the public mass would have been a huge step forward.
The Pope is back in Rome but Cubans are still in Cuba. In other words, Cubans are now facing the consequences of having spoken to the international media or any other act of dissidence.
Alberto De La Cruz alerted us to The Wall Street Journal's editorial:
"Dissidents who asked to meet with the Pope are now being arrested.
Pope Benedict XVI's recent trip to Cuba was described by the Vatican as way to spread the gospel to a nation captured by an atheist state. And surely it was the Pope's purpose to inspire as many Cubans as possible. The irony of the Pope's visit is that it has provoked a crackdown on dissent.
Agence France Press reports that in the last week at least 43 dissidents in the eastern province of Santiago, one of the stops during the Pope's three-day Cuban sojourn, have been detained by the police. They include former political prisoner José Daniel Ferrer and his wife Belkis Cantillo.
Mr. Ferrer was one of the 75 arrested in Cuba's "Black Spring" in 2003, and he was among 12 who refused to accept exile as a condition of release in 2011. He is the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba. Ms. Cantillo is among 10 members of the Ladies in White—Catholic mothers, wives and sisters of political prisoners—who were arrested in the sweep."
Am I surprised? Not really. This is life in the prison, a.k.a the island of Cuba.
Let's hope that Pope Benedict will call on the Cuban dictatorship to show some restraint and respect for human rights. At the same time, they have not shown any restrain or respected human rights since they arrived on the scene in 1959.
Click here for our conversation with Alberto De La Cruz, The Babalu Blog:
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