Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bush, the Pope, and Cuba

Here, from The Sunday Telegraph, is the only account of the meeting between President Bush and Pope Benedict that details their discussion of Cuba. But it cites no sources, and the headline is in conflict with the article itself. The headline discusses papal mediation “with Cuba” – between Cuba and the United States, one supposes – but the article implies that the Cuban church would mediate among Cubans by taking a leadership role in the event of a post-Castro crisis in Cuba. And it mentions a “leaked memorandum” from the State Department on possible crisis scenarios in Cuba, without giving any detail about the memo itself.

Other than that, the article is perfectly clear. If a reader fares any better than me in finding anything on that memo, I’ll be happy to link to it.

1 comment:

leftside said...

I love how the Pope, even in the presence of reporters, called Bush out over his claim of "success" at the G8. Success for Bush, I suppose in defeating a stronger global warming pact... but not the world.

On Cuba, I find the account very plausible - but terribly misguided. To think that "all Cubans" look up to the Catholic Church is a wee bit uninformed. The Church would have more luck telling exiles to stay home than in telling majority atheist and Santerian Cubans what economic system to choose. If I was to go in full cynic mode I would say the "leak" is meant to have the effect of pushing the Cuban regime to crack down on the Church, if they are indeed being made part of Bush's plans for transformation. Just like our policy on funding dissidents produced a crackdown that did wonders for our sustaining an immoral and illegal policy. It also perhaps explains why out Latin CIA chief was photographed at the recent marches in Caracas (trying to manufacture a crackdown).