The retired Catholic archbishop of Havana called for dialogue between the United States and Cuba, and said it’s the only way in which past and present problems can be solved.
In a 19th June letter published in Palabra Nueva, the magazine for the Archdiocese of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who played a major role in the rapprochement between Cuba and the US, said “resorting to old models” and applying them presently to Cuba can “overshadow or delay” the resolution of conflicts between the two countries.
The letter coincided with two important events: the release of Cardinal Ortega’s book chronicling the role the Church played in the 2014 restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US, and President Donald Trump’s announcement of changes to US policy toward the island-nation, including a rollback of an Obama-era opening of diplomatic relations and an easing of some restrictions.
A US bishop echoed what Cardinal Ortega said about dialogue. ‘It is important to continue to promote dialogue and encounter between our neighbouring nations and peoples,’ said a statement, also released on 19th June, from Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.
Picture: US President Donald Trump announces his Cuba policy on 16th June at the Manuel Artime Theater in Little Havana, a neighbourhood of Miami. (CNS photo/Joe Skipper, Reuters).