Usually, the rap against the Catholic Church in
Now, the Church is engaged in a dialogue with the government precisely about human rights issues. And the Cuban government has recognized in its own media that this dialogue, about those issues, is taking place.
Still, it’s not enough. The shots are coming from Oswaldo Paya in
The message is simple: Do it my way or don’t do it at all.
To be sure, the results of the dialogue so far are modest – one political prisoner freed, about a dozen moved to jails nearer their homes and families, and lots of talk of more moves ahead. (Yoani Sanchez is reporting that Darsi Ferrer, jailed last year and finally tried today, is home, and AP is reporting the same.)
If you want to read the darkest possible perspective on these talks, check this out from French author Bertrand de la Grange, who sees pure opportunism. He quotes Oswaldo Paya saying that the Church should not “accept the role of being sole interlocutors with the government.” Which means, in effect, that if the dissidents can’t be present, then the Church should not proceed to talk about prisoners of conscience. “Cubans should not be left as spectators” to these talks, Paya says, as if
I’m all for the Cuban government meeting with Cuban citizens of every stripe, dissidents included. But are Cubans who are not dissidents – clergy or any others – to hold back from talks on any topic if the dissidents aren’t included? Can Paya possibly mean that?
Closer to home, our friend Mauricio derides what he calls the Church’s “exclusionary tactics” because it is meeting with authorities without dissidents present.
He argues that instead of facilitating a political dialogue between the Castro regime and the Cuban people, the Church has decided to “take the place of dissidents.”
“Frankly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, for – repression aside – both the Castro regime and the Catholic Church are essentially non-democratic, non-representative entities,” he writes.