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Showing posts with label Fidel Castro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fidel Castro. Show all posts

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pat Buchanan: Obama Throws Fidel a Rope

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The celebrations in Havana and the sullen silence in Miami tell you all you need to know about who won this round with Castro’s Cuba.

In JFK’s metaphor, Obama traded a horse for a rabbit.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pope Benedict Meets Fidel Castro

"And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."

John 1:5



By Giacomo Galeazzi
The much awaited and controversial face to face meeting between Benedict XVI and Fidel Castro (who was wearing a dark coat, his neck covered and supported by his wife and children) did take place in the end. These two contemporaries - one nearly 86 and the other about to reach the age of 85 in three weeks – are worlds apart in terms of their personal life stories. “Now that I no longer have the responsibilities that come with governing, I spend a lot of time reading and reflecting. How do you still manage to carry out your service?” the Commander asked Joseph Ratzinger point-blank. The Pope replied: “I am old but I still manage to carry out my duty.” A sharp answer which reduced all rumours about his resignation to nothing.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Castro Attends Opening of First New Seminary in Cuba for 50 years

Castro attends opening of first new seminary in Cuba for 50 years

A statue of Christ seen outside Cuba's new San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary (CNS photo/Desmond Boylan, Reuters)

From the Catholic Herald (UK)

In a ceremony joined by President Raul Castro, Cuba’s Catholic bishops have inaugurated the San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary, the country’s first major church-related construction in the half century since the revolution led by Fidel Castro.

Joined by Cuba’s bishops and representatives of the Vatican and of the Catholic Church in the United States, Mexico, Italy and the Bahamas, Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino noted that the late Pope John Paul II blessed the first stone of the new seminary at a Mass during his January 1998 visit to the island.

At that point, then-President Fidel Castro pledged his support for the project, the cardinal said.

“That promise has been faithfully completed,” he said, adding his thanks to the Castros, “that this work was completed properly with the help of the state.”

Among the 300 guests attending the official opening were the apostolic nuncio to Cuba, Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, and Mexican Archbishop Emilio Berlie Belaunzaran of Yucatan. Cuban government representatives included the foreign minister, the minister of culture, the head of the office of religious affairs of the ruling Communist Party and the historian of Havana.

A message sent in the name of Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped the seminary’s inauguration would be “a sign and a stimulus for a renewed commitment to strive for careful human, spiritual and academic preparation” for priestly ministry.

The message, sent to Cardinal Ortega by the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, invited seminarians to “increasingly identify themselves with the sentiments of Christ the Good Shepherd, through assiduous prayer, serious dedication to study, humbly listening to the divine word, dignified celebration of the sacraments and courageous witness of his love as authentic disciples and missionaries of the Gospel of salvation”.

The seminary, which can house 100 people, will open to students next year on 54 acres of former farmland southeast of Havana.

The Mexican newspaper La Jornada explained that in 1966, in the early days of the Castro regime when tensions with the Church were high, the Church was forced to turn to over to the government the previous San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary, built in 1948.

Classes were moved to a classic colonial cloister in Havana’s historic district, where they have been located ever since. That building will become a cultural centre and studio, housing a library and space for exhibitions, concerts, theatre and film screenings.

The country’s only other Catholic seminary is in Santiago de Cuba, on the southeastern coast.

Construction of the new San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary began in 2006. The stone blessed by Pope John Paul rests in a glass case at the seminary’s entrance.

The Church covered the total cost of the work with donations from individuals, communities and international Catholic institutions. Cardinal Ortega specifically thanked donors, including the bishops’ conferences of the United States, Italy and Germany, the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, the Knights of Columbus, and Catholics in the United States, France, Spain and several Latin American countries.

The opening of San Carlos and San Ambrosio takes place at a time of marked improvement in relations between the Catholic Church and the state, after 50 years of ups and downs.

Analysts describe the current situation as “more relaxed”, since a dialogue process that began with a meeting in May between Raul Castro, Cardinal Ortega and Santiago Archbishop Dionisio Garcia Ibanez, president of the Cuban bishops’ conference.

As a result of that dialogue, in July the Cuban government began a process of releasing political prisoners. As of October 21, 47 prisoners had been released on the condition that they voluntarily leave for Spain. Some are reportedly in the process of seeking residency in the United States, where many of the ex-prisoners have family.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chavez Hails "Comrade Obama"

Don't take our word that there is a committed Marxist in the White House. Here is Venezuela's Marxist President saying that he and Fidel Castro may be more conservative than "Comrade Obama."

From Reuters
Tue Jun 2, 2009

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday that he and Cuban ally Fidel Castro risk being more conservative than U.S. President
Barack Obama as Washington prepares to take control of General Motors Corp.

During one of Chavez's customary lectures on the "curse" of capitalism and the bonanzas of socialism, the Venezuelan leader made reference to GM's bankruptcy filing, which is expected to give the U.S. government a 60 percent stake in the 100-year-old former symbol of American might.

"Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right," Chavez joked on a live television broadcast.

During a decade in government, Chavez has nationalized most of Venezuela's key economic sectors, including multibillion dollar oil projects, often via joint ventures with the private sector that give the state a 60 percent controlling stake.

Obama has vowed to quickly sell off General Motors once the auto giant is back on its feet, but the government will initially control the company after a $30 billion injection of taxpayer funds.

Chavez, a vehement critic of the U.S. "empire," has toned down his rhetoric since Obama took office in January and the two men shook hands during a summit in Trinidad and Tobago in April.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Congressional Black Caucus Smitten With Castro

From American Thinker
By Humberto Fontova

Cuba's atrocious record on race was somehow overlooked by the Congressional Black Caucus. Last week the Stalinist regime that jailed and tortured the longest suffering black political prisoner in modern history (Eusebio Penalver) rolled out the red carpet for 6 smitten members of the CBC. All of these U.S. legislators met with "President" Raul Castro while a lucky three secured back-stage passes to meet Fidel himself.

Not since Ann Margaret's reaction to Conrad Birdie's kiss has anything been recorded to match these U.S. legislators' reaction to these meetings.

"He looked directly into my eyes!" gasped Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Ca.) "and then he asked: how can we help President Obama? Fidel Castro really wants President Obama to succeed." (no doubt!)

"It was quite a moment to behold!" hyperventilated Rep. Barbara Lee. (D-CA) "Fidel Castro was very engaging and very energetic."

"He's one of the most amazing human beings I've ever met!" gushed Emanuel Cleaver(D-Mo)

"Raul Castro was a very engaging, down-to-earth and kind man," according to Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) "someone who I would favor as a neighbor. It was almost like visiting an old friend," (a Freudian slip, perhaps? Bobby Rush, after all, was a card-carrying Black Panther who did prison time)

Lest we forget: these Black U.S. legislators were raving about a regime that jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin, and executed more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler executed (out of a population of 70 million) in the Reich's first six.
"The Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent... We're going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the Cuban revolution. By which I mean: NOTHING!"
- (Ernesto "Che" Guevara.)
Che was much too modest. "Nothing" is not exactly accurate for Castroite treatment of Cuba's blacks. In fact, these lily-white European soldier's sons (Fidel and Raul) forcibly overthrew a Cuban government where Cuban Blacks served as President of the Senate, Minister of Agriculture, Chief of Army, and Head of State (Fulgencio Batista), a grandson of slaves who was born in a palm-roofed shack. Not that you'll learn any of this from the liberals' exclusive educational source on pre-Castro Cuba: Godfather II.

Today the prison population in Stalinist/Apartheid Cuba is 90 percent black while only 9 percent of the ruling Stalinist party is black.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


From New America Media
By Louis E.V. Nevaer

HAVANA – Catholic churches are full to capacity during mass, and the neighborhood Communist offices are empty.

One decade after Pope John Paul II traveled to Cuba – and negotiated an accommodation with Fidel Castro – the Vatican now speaks with the moral authority that few anticipated. That the Cuban people continue to move away from the Communist ideology has concerned Fidel Castro’s inner circle for more than five years, and it was instructive that Raul Castro, who has replaced his older brother Fidel as head of state, held his first meeting with a foreign dignitary with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state.

“He knows that the people have always believed in Christ, and never in Marx or Lenin or Fidel,” says a woman stepping out of the Church of the Sacred Heart along Father Felix Varela Avenue. “Raul wishes he had one one-hundredth of the authority of the pope.”

In the meeting between Raul Castro and Cardinal Bertone, it was the state that was deferential: Cuba’s state-run press, which rarely covers anything but official state institutions or Cuba’s Communist Party, printed a message from Cuba’s Catholic bishops. “In these moments our prayer is to God and the Virgin of Charity, our mother, patron of Cuba, for this newly renovated and inaugurated assembly council of state and new president to have the light from God to take decisive transcendental measures that we know should be progressive, but can begin to at once satisfy the anxieties and worries expressed by Cubans,” the bishops wrote.

The resurgence of the Catholic Church in this officially atheist state has reverberated throughout Cuba: Cubans are proud to display images of the Virgin of Charity, Santa Barbara, Saint Lazarus, and the Virgin of Guadalupe in their homes. Young men openly sport tattoos of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. Masses offered at mid-morning on weekdays are standing-room only. A young man in his early twenties simply shrugs his shoulders when asked why he is at mass, and not at work, on a Monday morning. “Everyone needs hope and inner peace; coming to church gives me that,” he says. “Going to work is an empty gesture. After 49 years of failures, is my going to work going to make Fidel’s revolution succeed? Only a s--t-eater would believe that.”

Fidel Castro never outlawed religion, but he made life impossible for those who practiced their faith: priests were expelled, religious schools were banned, believers of any faith were not permitted to join the Communist party, and Cuba’s constitution extolled the virtues of atheism. Churches were closed throughout the country; Havana’s Sephardic Jews survived by renting their synagogue as a dance hall; Muslims were forced to leave (Cuba’s sole mosque is now a museum); and practitioners of “Santeria,” an Afro-Cuban faith with roots in West Africa were driven underground.

These draconian measures only intensified criticism of Fidel Castro’s regime, but he didn’t care – that is, of course, until the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Cuba desperately needed to court the goodwill and foreign aid of the European community. As former Soviet-sponsored regimes collapsed – from Poland to Slovakia, Hungary to Lithuania – Cuba quietly removed references to atheism from its Constitution, allowed religious orders of nuns to pursue “social assistance” endeavors, and lifted the ban on believers entering the Communist party.

These changes culminated in 1998, when John Paul II visited the island, and held mass in the Plaza de la RevoluciĆ³n, which was broadcast to the entire nation. There was no turning back. More and more churches were opened, priests trickled in, and Jews were allowed to receive sufficient assistance from Mexico’s Jewish community, the largest in Latin America, to reopen their synagogue. (Of the 50 remaining Sephardic Jewish families remaining in Havana, this past Sabbath was attended by fewer than a dozen people, not one younger than 60.) Fidel Castro also delighted in the Vatican’s position that the U.S. embargo was “immoral.”

This is not to say it has been a happy meeting of minds. No practicing believer holds a high position in government; an acute shortage of priests and nuns makes it impossible for millions of Cuban Catholics to practice their faith; Communist officials have resisted opening long-closed churches; teachers ridicule their students who admit attending church.

Despite these obstacles, churches have filled up – while Communist offices have emptied out.

After the revolution, every neighborhood included a Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, known as CDRs, usually comprised of “little old ladies” who snitched on the goings-on to the authorities. This month, however, one third of the CDRs in the Vedado and Habana Centro neighborhoods are empty. One woman in her 70s nonchalantly explains that at her age, “getting right with God is more important than being right with Fidel.” She explains that she simply reported that there was nothing suspicious on her block, and preferred to spend time praying at church.

In this manner, social power has drifted from the state to the church, and this has not been lost on Communist authorities. Catholic churches increasingly provide social services, from offering space for Alcoholic Anonymous meetings to conducting parenting classes for new mothers. Some are even doubling up as health centers, making sure children and the elderly get sufficient calories.

As one woman explains, “In theory healthcare is free,” but “only if you pay bribes.” The reality of medical care in Cuba is that “at the clinic, you show up and they can’t see you for months, unless you pay off the person who makes the appointments. Then the tests the doctor orders won’t be ready, unless you pay a bribe to the technician. And if x-rays are involved, that’s another bribe. Then the pharmacy won’t give you your prescription – unless another bribe is paid, so the ‘free’ medical care ends up costing two or three months’ salary paid out in bribes.”

The Catholic Church has offered frustrated and disillusioned Cubans a way out. “The Church does not impose, but proposes,” Cardinal Bertone told Italian reporters covering his recent meeting with Raul Castro. “We do hope for some openness, because nothing is impossible.”

And curiously enough, the first person Raul Castro invited for a state visit was Pope Benedict.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Vatican Radio On Life Under Castro

(19 Feb 08 - RV) Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro announced today that he will not return to lead the country as president or commander-in-chief, retiring as head of state 49 years after he seized power in an armed revolution. Fr Ernesto Travieso is a Jesuit priest and Cuban native. He says Fidel’s magnetic charisma often blinded many people to the reality of every day life for people in Cuba.
Listen here: