Archbishop Of Havana Wants “Socialism To Progress” / 14ymedio

Archbishop of Havana, Juan de la Caridad Garcia Rodriguez. (EFE)
Archbishop of Havana, Juan de la Caridad Garcia Rodriguez. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 27 June 2016 — The newly appointed archbishop of Havana, Juan de la Caridad Garcia, said in an interview broadcast Monday by the Associated Press (AP) that does not want that Cuba “to have capitalism or anything in that style, but for socialism to progress” to go “forward to fair, balanced and fraternal society.”

The priest defended the work of his predecessor, Jaime Ortega. “I think that the cardinal did a great deal of good,” he said. “In some places there is a slightly negative image of him, and it is false. I am going to continue doing what he did.”

The archbishop said he doesn’t fear the criticisms of government opponents, which for years demanded that Ortega, who led the archdiocese for three decades, press for a change in the country’s political model.

Born in 1948 in Camagüey, Garcia did not support the Revolution after its victory in 1959. He was ordained a priest in 1972 and became Archbishop of Camagüey in 2002. His father died in prison accused of being responsible for a train accident, which took place in unclear circumstances, at the end of the 1960s, an era marked by harassment of religious figures. Despite the fact that he challenged the state in the 1970s by offering catechism in homes, he later changed his attitude toward the authorities. “There were always people who remained faithful despite the great difficulties at the beginning of the Revolution. One can walk, talk and look to the future,” he told the AP. “We can’t live in the past.”