Hablemos Press, Rafael Molina Rodríguez*, Santiago de Cuba, 10 July 2015 – The message put out by the Holy See that Pope Francis is not planning to touch on political matters during his upcoming visit to Cuba, has left me and my fellow citizens discouraged. We had hoped that the Pope, in his role as Chief of State [of the Vatican], upon visiting with the dictator Raúl Castro, would emphasize to him the need to respect human rights and multi-party democracy.
The announcement that the Pope is coming to Cuba only to bring the message of Our Lord Jesus Christ reminds me of Pontius Pilate, when he washed his hands after surrendering Jesus to the Jews so that he would be executed.
If the Pope is visiting Cuba only to bring the message of Jesus Christ, this means that he is acting only in his capacity as Bishop of Rome and leader of the Catholic Church—which means that he will not meet with any political leader, including the dictator Raúl Castro, but only with Catholic leaders.
This year is the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Holy See. A secular state with a Christian system and atheist leaders, I suppose that neither will they speak further about the matter, being that relations with Cuba are diplomatic, i.e. political and not religious. I say this because the Cuban leaders, if not Satanists, are self-confessed atheists.
This announcement makes me reflect on what is written in Matthew 23:15, which says: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (King James Bible – 21st century).
The Pope knows very well, objectively and subjectively, that the greatest problem facing the Cuban people is not a lack of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather the Castro dictatorship. If the Pope wants to be honest, as was John Paul II, he cannot come to Cuba and meet with the tyrant to speak only of those matters of political interest to the regime, but rather they should also speak of what would benefit the Cuban people, which are civil liberties, democracy and respect for human rights.
I am almost certain that if it were Our Lord Jesus Christ who was coming to Cuba, he would not sit down with Raúl Castro, but rather would exhort him to cease the oppression of civil liberties, human rights violations, and political repression and persecution, and to change his dictatorial politics.
It is now mid-July, and between now and September, the Pope has time to rectify his agenda, and publicize his intention, as a messenger of the Catholic Church, to come to Cuba to preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and free the prisoners.
*Rafael Molina Rodríguez, member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), collaborates frequently with Hablemos Press.
Translated By: Alicia Barraqué Ellison