Klaus Hart Brasilientexte

Aktuelle Berichte aus Brasilien – Politik, Kultur und Naturschutz

„PREPARATIONS FOR THE USA-CUBA RAPPROCHEMENT“. Brasiliens wichtigster katholischer Befreiungstheologe Frei Betto 2014.




Frei Betto*

Two obsessions moved Cuban diplomacy during recent decades: the freeing of the five Cubans accused of espionage and imprisoned in the US since 1998 and achieving a suspension to the blockade.

These were Fidel’s and Raul’s recurring concerns as they welcomed Popes John Paul II (1998) and Benedict XVI (2013) to Havana. The former suffered all kinds of pressure from the George W. Bush administration to avoid visiting Cuba or, if he did, to publicly condemn socialism as he had done during his visit to Poland (1979).

John Paul II not only visited the Caribbean Island, he remained for four days, was enchanted with Fidel Castro and publicly praised the Revolution’s social successes.

Benedict XVI also disappointed the White House when he visited in March 2013. I was invited to advise the Cuban government in order to “decipher” pontifical language both in speeches and in approach during both visits.

During John Paul II’s trip I was accompanied for this mission by Leonardo Boff and Pedro Ribeiro de Oliveira from Brazil, Giulio Girardi from Italy and Francois Houtart from Belgium who had been a seminary colleague of Karol Wojtyla in Rome, spending summer holidays together in Brussels.

Pope Francis’ admiration for Cuba is owed to the Island’s bishops. Popes, as a principle, place themselves before a country in conformity with the local episcopal conference. The Catholic Church in Cuba opposed the Revolution, whereas the Protestant Churches which are almost all originally from the US, approved it.

Tension between the Catholic Church and the State melted in Cuba as from 1985 when the book “Fidel and Religion” was published on the Island. It contained an interview where the Comandante, remembering his Catholic upbringing, spoke positively of religion.

The interview prompted two significant changes: the first was in the country’s Constitution, eliminating the atheistic character of the State and introducing the lay state; the second was that the Communist Party’s Statute no longer conditioned its members to declare themselves atheists and accepted those who had faith, to their ranks.

Since then the relenting of the Catholic Church towards the Revolution advanced to the point where the episcopal conference condemned the blockade (and convinced Benedict XVI to do likewise) and accepted mediating the freedom of the Cuban prisoners who were then authorised to leave the country, irritating Miami’s anti-Castro population.

Cuba and the USA always kept up relations. Diplomatic legations of both countries functioned in Washington and Havana. US Parliamentarians and businessmen visited Havana, carrying messages from the White House and friends of Cuba, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, maintained a bridge between the Castro brothers and US presidents. Perhaps some day the secret correspondence between both countries’ heads of state will be made known.

In 2011 the US freed two of the five imprisoned Cubans. Pope Francis, convinced of the innocence of the five and the absurdity of the blockade, became involved when he assumed the pontificate.

There were many Vatican-Washington-Havana negotiations during the months preceding 17th December 2014 when Obama freed the three who were still in prison and announcing a more flexible policy in the relations with Cuba, the re-opening of embassies in both countries and admitting the failure of the blockade (“isolation did not work”).

It is now up to the US Congress to suspend the blockade. Francis does not even need to exert pressure in this respect. Commercial interests will take care of this.

*Frei Betto is a writer, author of “Fidel e a Religião”, (Fidel and Religion). He mediated Cuban State-Catholic Church relations in the 1980s and 1990s.

“Wir brauchen den Weltpolizisten Amerika”:  http://www.hart-brasilientexte.de/2014/12/12/folterstaat-usa-wie-sich-deutsche-medien-2014-positionierenwir-brauchen-den-weltpolizisten-amerika-frankfurter-allgemeine-zeitung/

Folter auf Kuba – das US-Folter-KZ Guantanamo:

Angeli-Karikatur in der auflagenstärksten brasilianischen Qualitätszeitung “Folha de Sao Paulo” – Ausriß.


“Yes we can.”



Folterstaat USA: http://www.hart-brasilientexte.de/2014/12/10/folterstaat-usa-und-der-kuriose-moralische-anspruch-der-westlichen-supermacht-in-fragen-der-menschenrechte-von-krieg-und-frieden-ukrainekonflikt-etc/



Frei Betto*

When Pope Francis celebrated his 78th birthday he gave the American continent a great gift: a start towards ending the USA blockade against Cuba and re-establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.


This subject was given priority by Francis during his meeting with Obama in Rome in March 2014.  A year earlier, when elected pope, Francis learnt of the matter when he met with Diaz-Canel, first vice president of Cuba’s Council of State.

Obama admitted that “isolation did not work”. Actually, the blockade imposed on Cuba, against all international laws, did not even manage to weaken Cuban self determination after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Fidel, now 88 years of age, has survived eight US presidents, of whom four are buried, as well as over 20 CIA directors.

The US are slow to admit that the world does not  result from their whims. Thus they delayed 16 years to recognize the Soviet Union, 20 years for Vietnam and 30 for the Popular Republic of China. 53 years were required to accept that Cuba has a right to self determination, as indicated by the UN General Assembly.


In fact, the US and Cuba never interrupted their dialogue. For five decades the Cuban legation in Washington and the US legation in Havana which stands majestically on the Malecón, have functioned.

News of this rapprochement marks the definite end of the Cold War on our continent. And Cuba profits, offering healthy unpolluted tourist infrastructure free from violence, to one million Canadians who in winter, after a three hour flight, exchange -20 degree weather for a warm 30 degrees in Caribbean waters.

With the Cuban market opening to foreign investment, the US, which thinks in dollars, does not want to be left behind the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia who maintain important partnerships with the revolutionary Island. “Instead of isolating Cuba, we are merely isolating our country with obsolete policies”, congressmen Patrick Leahy (Democrat) and Jeff Flake (Republican), stated in a letter to Obama on their return from Havana.

In exchange for Alan Gross, the CIA agent detained in Cuba for terrorist activity, Obama freed three of the five Cubans imprisoned in the US since September 1998 accused of terrorism (two had already been freed).

The truth is that they were trying to avoid terrorist initiatives by anti Castro groups in Florida. They were used by the FBI and by groups on the right as tampions to avoid a rapprochement between the US and Cuba at that time.

The court in Atlanta had unanimously admitted that the sentences applied to three of the five Cubans (Hernández, Labañino and Guerrero, all just released) lacked legal justification: there had been no secret leaking of military information, nor had US security been at risk.

As President Dilma said to me at our meeting on November 26 2014, Francis is, without a doubt, a great world leader in this world lacking in reliable and respectable figures.

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Dienstag, 30. Dezember 2014 um 11:51 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Politik abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen.

«  –  »

Keine Kommentare

Noch keine Kommentare

Die Kommentarfunktion ist zur Zeit leider deaktiviert.

    NEU: Fotoserie Gesichter Brasiliens

    Fotostrecken Wasserfälle Iguacu und Karneval 2008

    23' K23

interessante Links







© Klaus Hart – Powered by WordPress – Design: Vlad (aka Perun)