Monday, November 28, 2016

More On The Tyranny of Fidel Castro

While left-wing Western leaders celebrate the late Fidel Castro—whitewashing much of Cuba's recent history in the process—it's worth remembering how total and insidious the Communist dictator's tyrannical regime was for the Cuban people.

Over the years, THE WEEKLY STANDARD has documented some of this tyranny, as well as the useful idiots who explain away Castro's disregard for human rights and freedom. The articles are all worth the time, but read some excerpts from them below.

In a piece previewing Pope John Paul II's 1998 visit to Cuba, George Weigel wrote about the numerous ways in which the Communist regime had restricted the Catholic Church:
So what do the Vatican and the Cuban church want from this visit? First, the church would like the assistance of Latin American priests as it expands its activities. The Cuban government has, until quite recently, regularly denied (or terminally stalled) requests for visas from Latin American clergy. In pre-visit negotiations with the government, the Vatican raised the issue of visas, arguing that the church needed priests to help prepare for the pope's visit. Soon, the government changed its policy and issued a significant number of visas. The church would like to see the visa process routinized, so that it has clergy sufficient to maintain a vigorous public ministry.
Then there is the question of the church as a charitable institution. Recent Cuban policy has allowed the church to receive humanitarian assistance from abroad (primarily foodstuffs and medicines), but not to distribute it--a role the government has reserved for itself. A change in this policy, allowing the church to distribute independently the aid it receives, would be a major improvement.

Another issue is media access. Ever since the Communists seized power, the church has been denied access to the mass media, a major factor in widespread public ignorance of the church and its leading personalities. (Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the archbishop of Havana, walks through the streets of his city unrecognized by many.) Moreover, the church has not been allowed to publish independently; religious materials--Bibles, catechisms, missals, hymnals--must be imported (under government control, of course). But there has been some easing of these restrictions in advance of the pope's visit, and the church hopes that the trend will continue, and even expand, after the pope leaves.
And last, there is the persistent matter of political prisoners. Church sources indicate that some 900 remain in jail. The church wants them released, and it wants the government to permit them and their families to emigrate, if they so choose.

No comments: