Cuban leadership continues Repression of the Faithful while using Cardinal O’Malley’s visit to whitewash Party image following brutal crackdown in JulY
Last week, the Global Liberty Alliance sent a letter to Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston after his visit to Cuba and other Caribbean countries. After receiving several responses from colleagues and friends in Cuba, on September 22, GLA sent a second letter to the Cardinal to address additional concerns and urging Americans and American Catholics to side with the people of Cuba over the Cuban government and its Office of Religious Affairs.
In the second letter to Cardinal O’Malley, GLA President Jason Poblete writes, “Many people in Cuba want America to know there is only one political party in Cuba, the Communist Party,” adding that under the control of the Communist Party, “there is no space for people of faith.”
The Office of Religious Affairs (ORA), created by the Communist Party to oversee Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) communities, uses its control over the Cuban people to threaten, intimidate and persecute people of faith across the island. Cubans call this “El Sistema” or “The System.” As Poblete describes, it is a “repressive apparatus built over decades to ensure cradle-to-grave adherence to socialist values.”
Why would Party leaders then grant an audience with Cardinal O’Malley during his visit while beating and jailing Catholics and other religious leaders during the July 11th protests? The primary reason would be to repair the Party’s image after the world witnessed the brutal crackdown by the Cuban government on July 11th protestors.
The full letter, in English and Spanish, can be read below.