News and Facts about Cuba

Goodbye, Jaime Ortega

Goodbye, Jaime Ortega
DDC | Madrid | 29 Abr 2016 – 7:40 am.

Things are so bad in Cuba that any news about a shakeup in the country’s
elite – even if it’s just a quasi-retirement, like that announced for
Jaime Ortega- is good news.

Cardinal Ortega had been the Archbishop of Havana since 1981. In
exchange for concessions for his Church, he ingratiated himself with the
Castro regime to such a degree that he ended up being perceived as one
more component of it. Under his leadership the Catholic Church sought
and managed to recover a significant social presence, which is not
illicit. What was wrong, however, was doing so by failing to denounce
the social, political and economic crisis induced by the dictatorship,
the lack of fundamental freedoms in Cuba, denying the existence of
political prisoners and serving as a spokesman for the regime at
international forums.

At these events the cardinal demonstrated an attitude of classist
disdain and a lack of compassion, mercy and Christian love and sympathy
for the “uneducated” or “criminals,” as he branded Cuban citizens
demanding the rights. Ortega forgot the mercy that Jesus showed to
thieves and prostitutes. Rubbing shoulders with “Castro’s princes” made
him arrogant and led him off the path he had sworn to follow.

He served as a go-between for the Interior Ministry when it sent the
Black Spring political prisoners into exile, thereby allowing the regime
to avoid direct talks with the civil society groups that were pressuring
the Government, and then proceeded to deny the existence of those same
activists in Cuba. In this way he was complicit in the regime’s sleight
of hand campaigns: making people disappear and then claiming that they
don’t exist.

For all these reasons, though the cause of democracy in Cuba should not
expect much from Pope Francis and Vatican strategies, the fact that
Jaime Ortega has left the scene (at least partially) represents progress.

Source: Goodbye, Jaime Ortega | Diario de Cuba –
www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1461912023_22007.html

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