Analysis

Cuba: The Pope’s Dilemma in Dealing with the Castro Brothers
Pope Benedict XVI his greeted by Cuban President Raul Castro after his arrival today in Santiago, Cuba. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
March 26, 2012
| Security
| The Americas
Summary
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Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cuba today for a three-day visit to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre, an icon venerated by Cuban Catholics. Even before the Pope’s arrival, controversy erupted over the decision of Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino to evict anti-Castro dissidents from a church where they had peacefully assembled to protest the regime. Some have accused Ortega of collaborating with the Castro regime. Is this the case? LIGNET takes a closer look.

The Holy See has compromised with the Cuban government over the last two decades in order to gain more religious freedom for Catholics on the island.  While many have criticized these deals, the Catholic Church now operates out in the open in Cuba, has scored some limited increased freedoms for the oppressed Cuban people, and has negotiated the release of political prisoners.  However, the Cuban regime’s recent crackdown on dissidents will make it hard for the Church to justify its pragmatic approach to the Castro regime and may force some alterations.

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