Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa discusses how the Pope views Cuba and the United States, the two countries that he is about to visit:
ROME, September 11, 2015 – The United States and Cuba, or the devil and holy water. The journey that Pope Francis has scheduled from September 19 to 27 will take him to the two opposite poles of his geopolitical vision: to the temple of the “economy that kills” and just beforehand to the outpost of the peoples on the path of redemption.
In the island of the Caribbean and in the “Alianza Bolivariana” already established between Cuba and the populist regimes of Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia, the Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio in fact sees a preview of the “Great Homeland” that he longs for so much, the springtime of an integration of the Latin American continent in a Catholic and anti-capitalist vein.
He has already visited two of these countries, Ecuador and Bolivia, and will soon arrive in the third, Cuba. And he has always treated their rulers with great regard and even with cordiality, including when they have presented the greatest trials.
Against the totalitarian trend in the Venezuela of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro he has never expended a single word, nor has he ever responded to the appeals of a population reduced to hunger. He has promoted the unworthy Bolivian president Evo Morales to de facto leader of those antagonistic “popular movements” that are for him, the pope, the future of the redeemed humanity. As for Cuba, here too what is startling about Francis is his silence.
Of course, once he has landed in Havana Francis will speak. But in skimming the program of the visit, it is striking how scanty it is. In other countries the pope has never failed to enter a prison or to meet with refugees and the homeless. In the United States it is already known where and when he will do this. But not in Cuba.
In Lampedusa he threw flowers into the ocean and cried out, “Shame!” but it is unlikely that he will do so from the Malecón in Havana, in front of the ocean strait that has swallowed up thousands of Cubans fleeing toward the coasts of Florida.
In a prison it would be difficult for him to encounter any of the hundreds of political detainees.
The Damas de Blanco, wives and mothers of dissidents in prison, who go to Mass every Sunday dressed in white and brave the insults and violence of the police, would have a hard time finding a place in the front row of the pope’s Masses.
As for the dissidents living in surveilled and intermittent freedom, many of them Catholic, the only hope is that the pope may be able to meet with one of them away from the spotlight and outside of the official program, as the regime benignly allowed American secretary of state John Kerry to do on the day of the inauguration of the restored United States embassy in Cuba.
There is a great deal of Realpolitik in the silence maintained by Pope Francis so far on the lack of freedom for the Cuban people. Vatican secretary of state Pietro Parolin and his substitute Angelo Becciu were raised in the school of Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, a great diplomat at the time of the Soviet empire, and were nuncios in Venezuela and Cuba respectively. They know the country profiles, and Francis seems to adhere diligently to their instructions.
What the pope adds of his own is his personal, confidential approach, almost as a confessor, with the despots he encounters. He has succeeded in touching the notoriously stony heart of Raül Castro, leading him to express, after a private conversation at the Vatican, intentions of returning to the practice of the Catholic religion. Fidel can be counted on for an encore. The wager is that during his three days on the island Francis may come up with something else unplanned, capable of giving a minimum of substance to the cry “Libertad” already raised in vain by the Cuban crowds during the visits of the two previous popes.
In the United States it will be a completely different tune.
Go here to read the rest. The Pope has the prejudices common to most Latin American leftists: a hatred for the United States and a love for Castro’s Cuba. If leftist platitudes are mouthed, any crimes can be excused, or at least not mentioned. Castro’s regime is cracking down on Catholic dissidents in preparation for the Pope’s arrival:
Castro regime detains dissidents ahead of Pope Francis visit
Cuban police detained about 50 people when a predominantly Roman Catholic dissident group led a march in Havana on Sunday, less than a week before Pope Francis visits the communist-ruled country.
Such detentions have become common following regular Sunday marches by the Ladies in White, a group that has criticized the Roman Catholic Church and Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega for failing to advocate on its behalf with the Cuban government.
Ladies in White leader Berta Soler told Reuters the women planned to attend masses that Pope Francis will lead in Havana and Holguin while in Cuba from Sept. 19-22. The pope will also visit Santiago de Cuba.
Judging from the below article on the Babalu Blog, the go to site on the Internet for news on Cuba, the man at the top of the Church in Cuba knows what the Pope wants him to say about the Castro regime:
For the umpteenth time, Cuba’s Cardinal Jaime Ortega shows his corruption and iniquity. And for the corresponding umpteenth time, the Vatican and the Pope (current and past) will do absolutely nothing about it. May God have mercy on them.
‘You all get your information from worm-infested Miami’
A group of Cuban opposition members who attended 4th of July celebrations at the residence of Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, claim that Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino angrily told them “you all get your information from worm-infested Miami” when the dissidents attempted to give him a petition calling for amnesty for political prisoners.
According to the opposition members, they claimed the prelate denied the existence of political prisoners on the island during the altercation and then threatened to call security to have them removed from the residence if they continued to insist on giving him the document.
Escobedo confirmed that at one time during the exchange, the Cardinal claimed that there were no political prisoners on the island and that “the information all of you [the opposition] receive comes from ‘worm-infested’ Miami.”
The incident took place shortly after a musical group dressed in flashy blue uniforms and white hats played the national anthems of Cuba and the United States and after a brief welcome statement from DeLaurentis.
Go here to read the rest. PopeWatch is confident that the Pope’s hosts in Cuba will hear not a discouraging word from him about their island gulag.
It is deeply shameful for the Vicar of Christ to take the side of the enemies of Christ, but Pope Francis sees no enemies on the left.