Cuba: Cuban church requests to release prisoners, resume dialogue with U.S.
- The Archbishop of Havana said in an interview published by the Catholic magazine Word News that Cuba was facing a "very difficult situation."
- According to Cardinal Ortega, an increasing number of voices calling for changes to improve economic and social situation in Cuba.
Havana, April 19, 2010
The leader of the Cuban Catholic Church, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Called for the release of prisoners Cuba's political and resumption of a dialogue with the rugged United States, according to an interview released Monday. Authorities Communist Cuba has received international pressure to release about 200 dissidents, human rights groups, maintain behind bars.
Interview with Cardinal Ortega
The Archbishop of Havana, said in an interview published Catholic magazine Palabra Nueva that Cuba was facing a "situation very difficult. "
Criticism increased after the death in February Orlando Zapata political prisoner after 85 days on hunger strike and harassment in March the group of relatives of jailed dissidents Damas de Blanco.
"With regard to prisoners for political reasons, the Church historically has done all it can be put into freedom, not only patients but also others, "said Ortega, as publication.
President Raul Castro rejected what it sees an international campaign against Cuba's communist system. Warned also would not yield to the "blackmail" of their enemies. Ortega said that "media violence" against Cuba exacerbates the crisis. Also warned of a resurgence of intolerance in Cuba and said the harassment Ladies in White by supporters of the government was "painful."
DIALOGUE WITH U.S.
The government banned a march on Sunday mothers and wives of imprisoned dissidents in 2003, which were booed for more than two hours after the communist militants attend Mass at a church in Havana. The Cuban authorities are opponents as US-paid mercenaries.
By Ortega, the solution to many of Cuba's problems passes right for normalization of relations with the United States, which has almost half a century trying to force a regime change by trade embargo.
U.S. President Barack Obama last year promised to "relaunch" its relations with Cuba and took some measures such as free travel and remittances by Cuban Americans to the island. Also proposed resuming talks Immigration interrupted during the administration of George W. Bush.
But the new beginning seemed to crash into the old differences ideological and incidents like the arrest last December of a U.S. contractor that Cuba suspected of espionage and Zapata's death. "I think a Cuba-US dialogue would necessary first step to break the vicious critical that we found, "said Ortega.
The Catholic Church and the Government Communist Cuba are overcoming decades of distrust. In Catholics in recent years gained visibility. According to Cardinal Ortega, an increasing number of voices calling for changes to improve economic and social situation in Cuba.
President Raul Castro, two years ago that replaced his ailing brother Fidel in power, has vowed to improve the quality of life for Cubans damaged by decades of economic crisis. "I believe that this opinion reaches a kind of national consensus and its postponement occurs impatience and discomfort in the people, "said Ortega.
S: Infolatam.com / Update 4-20-2010