GLA Urges Cardinal O’Malley, Catholic Church to Ensure Humanitarian Efforts in Support of Cuban People Remain Free of Politics and Puts American Interests First
Earlier this week, the Global Liberty Alliance wrote a letter to Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston, in response to a blog post the Cardinal wrote following his most recent trip to Cuba and other Caribbean countries.
GLA President Jason Poblete praised Cardinal O’Malley’s continued support for the plight of the Cuban people and went on to share additional information that Cuban regime officials likely did not discuss with the Cardinal, one of the most senior Catholic officials in the United States.
In the letter, Poblete stresses the Cuban government unlawfully detains and imprisons political dissidents and religious leaders, including members of the Catholic Church, whose abuses are underreported by the media. In addition to Cuban dissidents, the regime has also imprisoned American citizens, such as Ms. Alina Lopez from Miami, Florida, who has been unlawfully detained for nearly five years.
After years of investigation, including with lawyers in Brazil, Uruguay, Honduras, and Guatemala, GLA has uncovered serious violations within the Cuban medical brigade program, which received high praise from Cardinal O’Malley in his blog post. The Cuban medical brigade program violates the fundamental rights of its participants, including labor rights.
The people of Cuba find themselves at a crossroads witnessed by the world on July 11 when thousands of Cubans in cities across the island took to the streets to peacefully demand change. The Catholic church, and other responsible stakeholders who are in the position to help the people of Cuba on matters such as humanitarian assistance, should take steps to ensure the Cuban government does not turn good deeds into political theatre or politics, as the regime did with the high-profile visit by Cardinal O’Malley.
Read the full letter below.
Cardinal O’Malley’s Visit to Cuba:
Cardinal O’Malley arrived in Santiago de Cuba on Tuesday, September 14. Over the next several days, he participated in celebrations for the Feast of Our Lady of Charity (the Patroness of Cuba), visiting various cathedrals and parishes.
During his visit, he also met with various government officials, medical personnel, and visited a medical facility currently producing coronavirus vaccines in conjunction with MIT and several U.S. hospitals.
He also met with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and other government staff, touching on the demonstrations that took place on the island in July, urging clemency for those who participated in a nonviolent way.
The Cardinal also noted in his blog that remittances between America and Cuba remain a major concern for the Cuban regime, and U.S. travel restrictions continue to pose great restrictions.
Read Cardinal O’Malley’s full account of his Caribbean visit HERE.