RHODE ISLAND CATHOLIC EDITORIAL

Free Cuba; oppression still reigns there

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Fidel Castro’s self-imposed retirement does not mean he is giving up all power as he suggested when announcing his departure from the presidency: “I am not saying goodbye to you.”

Castro has led his totalitarian regime ever since he seized power on New Year’s Day, 1959. Despite attempts to remove the now-ailing dictator and relieve Cuba from his repressive regime, he has lived a long life full of betrayals and plots.

Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana and a prophetic voice for freedom, has over the years strongly condemned the executions and the political repression by the Castro regime. He has continually denounced the "inappropriate methods" being used to "disqualify and arrest people for thinking and acting differently from the official ideology." Castro may be retired, but the brutality of his repressive regime and the oppressive apparatus of his totalitarian state continue to afflict the people of Cuba.

Only faint rejoicing can be offered for the removal of Fidel Castro from office, the real rejoicing can only begin when Cuba is truly free and the long reign of political oppression ends. Until that day arrives, we offer our support and prayers to the Cuban people and the Cuban Church so long subjected to the egomaniacal reign of a brutal dictator. We hope and pray that the dictatorial era of Fidel Castro will soon join the dustbin of history along with Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot.