Pope Francis finally spoke about Cuba but he made a peculiar request to the Cubans who are fighting for their freedom.
The Pontiff gave his first Angelus this Sunday, July 18, from the Vatican after undergoing surgery for a colon problem, and yes, he said something about what is happening in the Caribbean island, but not what many expected.
The violence exercised by the tyranny on a defenseless population, the repression of dissidence, the disappearances of more than 400 citizens, the tortures, the information blackout with the arrest of journalists, YouTubers, intellectuals, artists, and simple citizens….. None of this was enough for Jorge Bergoglio to make a single statement in favor of the Cuban victims and condemn the tyranny plaguing the island.
On the contrary, with his characteristic leftist advocacy, the Pontiff asked the Cuban people to stop protesting and to dialogue with the authorities of the communist dictatorship.
His words were:
“I pray the Lord to help build in peace, dialogue and solidarity, an ever more just and fraternal society.”
In the midst of the historic protests in Cuba, priests and Catholic faithful have joined the people in their demand for freedom under the popular hymn “Patria y Vida” (Homeland and Life).
Images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary have been seen carried on the shoulders of Catholics.
These brave believers have risked their lives against the repressive forces of the dictator Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Among the thousands of citizens who have been detained are Catholic priests and Protestant pastors.
Even numerous priests, some in cassocks, have been seen on the streets urging the armed forces to refrain from violence.
According to Catholic News Agency, several priests and seminarians have been beaten and imprisoned.
Pastor Yusniel Perez Montejo, a member of the Eastern Baptist Convention of Cuba, was arrested on July 11.
Meanwhile, Father Castor José Álvarez Devesa was beaten by police on July 11 in the city of Camagüey and was imprisoned after defending a group of young people.
In addition, seminarian Rafael Cruz Debora was violently removed from his home on July 12.
In dialogue with ACI Prensa, Father Rolando Montes de Oca, of the Archdiocese of Camagüey, described this last event as follows:
“After the protests, they went to the homes of some demonstrators and took them away. Among them was a seminarian from Matanzas named Rafael Cruz Débora, they entered his house at five in the morning, they say violently and they took him away and we do not know where he is.”
According to ACI Prensa, five other young Catholics were also arrested in the raid.
Protestant pastors Yéremi Blanco Ramírez and Yarian Sierra were also detained.
This climate of terror and persecution suffered by religious believers in Cuba seems not to have been enough for Pope Francis to condemn the repression of his flock.
So did Cuba’s Catholic bishops, who answer directly to the Vatican.
In a July 12 statement, they merely called on Cuban authorities to engage in dialogue with citizens protesting hunger and oppression.
While tens of thousands of Cubans risk their lives in the face of totalitarianism, the Catholic leadership both on the island and in the Vatican only asks that the parties reach a – quote-unquote – “common agreement.”
John Suarez, a Catholic who heads the Center for a Free Cuba, told Church Militant that Cuba’s bishops “should have gone further” to help their flock.
Cuban Catholics feel completely abandoned by the Pope and the Vatican.
Priests on the island do not understand—and cannot explain—the silence of the pontiff, who is as ready to condemn the excesses of capitalism as he is reluctant to defend Christians who are victims of communist tyranny.
But in reality, Bergoglio’s stance comes as no surprise.
The 84-year-old pope visited Cuba in September 2015, when Raul Castro was still in charge and met with the brutal and bloodthirsty dictator Fidel Castro.
He even gave him a book and they shared a hug.
It is evident, and at the same time worrying, that Bergoglio is in tune with communist dictatorships.
The same thing has happened with the Chinese regime.
Faithful Catholics have been left unprotected by the secret pact between the Vatican and Beijing for Rome to recognize the church of the Communist Party and turn its back on the true Catholic faithful who have been risking their lives for their loyalty to their highest spiritual leader.
Moreover, Communist China has just announced that it is “ready to work with Cuba.”
An apparent promise of collaboration with the Caribbean dictatorship to repress citizen protests.
Will Bergoglio say anything about all this? Perhaps, someone should remind him that silence in the face of this extreme situation is to be an accomplice of tyranny and that, at the end of the road, we will all be accountable to Heaven.