Friday, February 29, 2008

More from Cardinal Bertone

It would be nice if Cardinal Bertone would give a few more interviews next week because every time he does, he tells us a little more about his exchanges in Cuba.

Today, he told L’Osservatore Romano (see Catholic News Agency story) that Raul Castro raised the issue of the Cuban convicts known as “Los Cinco” who are serving terms in U.S. penitentiaries. Castro suggested that a swap could be negotiated – for whom, he did not say.

If he has dissidents I mind, I doubt the negotiation would go very far. If he were to offer escaped New Jersey cop-killer Joanne Chesimard or other fugitives of her ilk who enjoy refuge in Cuba, that might be another matter. The United States and Cuba have a century-old extradition agreement that is in force, but effectively suspended since 1959. The presence in Cuba of fugitives from American justice is one of the Administration’s justifications for maintaining Cuba’s designation as a “state sponsor of terrorism.”

A Reuters story adds detail about Cardinal Bertone’s discussion of church matters, including the church’s legal status (the Cuban Catholic church is not registered as a legal entity with the Cuban justice ministry, based on its view that its legitimacy comes from another place), the legal status of its charitable arm Caritas, construction of new churches, etc.

Please keep talking to reporters, your Eminence. We like the info.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cardinal Bertone should have also discussed the church's position on family-travel restrictions.

Just today, babalu folk are advocating an editorial in the Herald which states some outlandish reasons why Cuban-Americans should NOT visit their sick and dying mother in Havana.

Zulkijora said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

you are either a refugee from communism or you aren't. refugees do not return to their country to "visit." if you are not a refugee, then you likely do not have a right to be here in the U.S.

Live with it....

Phil Peters said...

That is an argument that Reps. Diaz-Balart have both used, and it insinuates that Cuban Americans who return to visit their families are hypocrites.

But it's not accurate. You can look it up; in recent years at most a few thousand Cubans come here as refugees, out of 20,000 or more who come each year.

The vast majority just show up without a visa and are paroled in, without having to make any claim of persecution, which would make them a refugee or asylee. (If they had refugee status they would not need parole.) They benefit from a unique policy, but under that policy they have every right to be here.

The comment delete above was spam, by the way. I have no idea why people think that this comments section is a good place to sell things.

Elgentleman said...

América Latina debe impedir una guera de laboratorio

Se está gestando una guerra entre Venezuela, Ecuador y Colombia, cuyo pretexto es la muerte del segundo hombre de las FARC, Raúl Reyes, abatido en una zona selvática del territorio ecuatoriano.

La iniciativa de movilizar efectivos a las fronteras de los mencionados vecinos la tomó Colombia, desplegando tropas, artillería, blindados y aviones Mirage hacia la franja venezolana. Hoy Chávez ordenó el despliegue de 10 batallones, incluyendo tanques y defensa aérea, hacia su frontera con Colombia, declarando un estado de alerta nacional. Las tensiones están creadas. Sólo falta encender el último fósforo.

Y mientras eso ocurre la gente simple de esos países, ajena a todo ese entramado de intereses de potencias extranjeras y de sus cúpulas de poder local, posiblemente se vean en breve involucradas en una guerra de laboratorio que acentuará el hambre y la pobreza estructural que ya padecen.

Estamos a tiempo de parar ese ánimo belicista. El freno a una guerra es la opinión pública latinoamericana e internacional. No debe perderse un minuto y comenzar una movilización de la sociedad civil de los países involucrados, una marcha gigantesca que impida los oscuros designios de los alquimistas del rencor en nuestra América dolida.

Anonymous said...

Phil, our entire immigration policy towards Cuba is based on the assumption that people are fleeing a communist dictatorship 90miles from our shores. If you make a mockery of that assumption by allowing people to return "to visit" you eliminate that presumption and the special favor with which Cubans are treated. Many Cubans rightly are offended by the label "migrants" because it cuts at the core of their identity as exiles. "Migrants" can routinely return to their homeland; exile presumes you don't.

Phil Peters said...

Anon, I understand that many Cubans here consider themselves exiles and won't return until things change.

But many others think otherwise, as they demonstrate when they go back to visit their families. Had they been required to claim a fear of persecution (which would make them refugees or asylees) then I agree you could call them hypocrites for wanting to visit. But for the large majority of Cubans who come here, that's not the case. They made no such claim; many simply won the lottery or came via smugglers. Again, you can look it up.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect them to conform to your concept that all Cuban immigrants are exiles and have to behave a certain way. One might even say it's none of your business. Certainly, US immigration policy makes no such imposition on them, although it does restrict visits to once every three years.

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