Monday, July 12, 2021
Communications Department - Archdiocese of Miami
Archbishop Thomas Wenski issued the following statement July 12, 2021, regarding the massive protests that took place throughout the island of Cuba July 11, 2021.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic that has afflicted Cuba, its neighbors and the rest of the world, the Cuban population suffers from a series of deprivations – lack of freedoms, lack of food, lack of prospects for the future. On Sunday, July 11th, popular demonstrations throughout the island nation expressed the legitimate frustrations of the Cuban people. It is tragically unfortunate that the Cuban government has chosen to respond with repressive actions and a discourse that threatens further violence against those who, under the banner of “Patria y Vida” and “No tenemos miedo”, seek a better future for themselves and their country.
In his 1998 visit to Cuba, St. John Paul II called on the Cuban people, especially its youth, to be the protagonists of their futures. (cf. homily in Camaguey). The lack of basic freedoms and the marginalization and exclusion of those who dissent from the “party line” frustrates the Apostle of Cuban Independence, Jose Marti’s dream of a Cuba “con todos y para el bien de todos”.
Jose Martí also once observed, “La patria es agonía y deber.” Today we, Cubans, and non-Cubans, are acutely aware of the sufferings of the Cuban nation, and we sense our duty to help through any possible gestures of effective solidarity and also by our prayers.
“To Jesus through Mary, Charity unites us.” May Holy Mary, Our Lady of Charity, hear her people’s prayers and hasten for Cuba the hour of its reconciliation in truth, accompanied by freedom and justice. May, through the intercession of the “Virgen Mambisa,” the Cuban people discover how to traverse that narrow road between fear, which gives in to evil, and violence, which under the illusion of fighting evil only makes it worse. “Our Lady of Charity, cover us with your mantle.”