Los campos de concentración de Castro
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The Missions of the Cardinal / Mario Barroso

The Missions of the Cardinal / Mario Barroso

Mario Barroso, Translator: Unstated

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,

ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

In those years of UMAP*, when Mr. Jaime Ortega was one more in the

concentration camps, no one would have imagined that the last but most

important mission of what some still call the Revolution, would be

carried out by him.

Last year around this time (May 2011) the Mitred One went to Europe as a

messenger of the regime to try to use his influence to eliminate what is

called the European Common Position, a logical reaction of the old

continent before the excesses of the misrule in Cuba.

He carried with him the boast of having accomplished the release, in

2010, of fifty-two prisoners of the group of seventy-five from the Black

Spring of 2003, and others as well, with such pretension, convenient to

the political monopoly in Cuba, that he arrogantly usurped the true

merit of Orlando Zapata Tamayo's death, the challenge by women armed

only with gladioli, and Mr. Guillermo Fariñas's fast.

The cardinal's cassock was used by the regime to manage the negotiations

of one of its biggest quagmires of recent times; but still not

satisfied, they tried to also use it as a substitute for their

ineffective Minister of Foreign Affairs in their efforts to extract

urgently needed money from Europe in anticipation of a possible

Venezuelan debacle, now imminent.

It was precisely during the Cardinal's European mission that God allowed

this writer to be with, on Cuba Street in Santa Clara, Juan Wilfredo

Soto Garcia, a man dying as a consequence of a severe beating that had

been previously announced during Fariñas's fast, and that had been

carried out by his executioners on the morning of May 5th.

Arriving before the death of the victim, I tweeted in real time that

same morning the news of the assassination that ultimately took his

life, in the early morning hours between the 7th and 8th of May. The

frustrated impunity for the extrajudicial execution of Juan Wilfredo

Soto Garcia ruined the European mission of the Cardinal. Those who had

sent him destroyed his efforts with the bungling of another death, but

what can one expect from a dictatorship accustomed to such methods from

its very beginning?

Since the death of Soto Garcia, at least two other notorious deaths have

pointed the finger of accusation at the regime: Laura Pollán (October

14, 2011) and Wilman Villar Mendoza (January 19, 2012). Despite this

Benedict XVI appeared on the island, and not precisely to condemn the

crimes of the regime, as some hoped, but to reclaim ground lost to his

church no one doubts, but conceding, on the part of the Vatican, the

granting of undeserved rites to a system characterized by the oppression

and defrauding of its people.

This new mission of the Cardinal was accomplished with success in the

eyes of its beneficiaries, who even offered him the pages of its red

daily newspaper, the same one that for decades has denied him and the

rest of the churches the right to media.

As well as promoting the Pope's blessing on those who one day dreamed,

evoking Lenin, of the disappearance of religion, one of the most

repugnant things under the sun, the Cardinal behaved exactly like a

member of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, delivering in

the hands of the wolf the desperate sheep who sought protection within

the walls of some of his temples. Not satisfied with that, he

undoubtedly gave the nod to the entire wave of repression that erupted

simultaneously with the Pope's visit, of which I was one of the hundreds

of victims.

Added to the visit of the leader of the Catholic world was that of the

pilgrims from the other side of the Florida Straits, some of whom seemed

enamored with what appeared to them to be a poor government overwhelmed

by the imperial boot of its neighbors to the north.

As a corollary addendum to this successful mission of the Cardinal and

evidence in addition to that above, the U.S. Conference of Catholic

Bishops has issued a letter to President Obama requesting the lifting of

the blockade against the Cuban regime, just when they should have

complemented it with another request asking that the Cuban blockade

against its own people be lifted.

This time the spring mission of the Cardinal was with the brutal and

turbulent North, truing to get what, exactly a year earlier, he had

failed to get from Europe. The robe wanders around North American with

total solemnity and dares to sneer on a visit to Harvard University

itself, branding as criminals and even semi-literates those sheep that

he handed over to the wolf before the Papal visit.

No wonder those whom he returns to represent couldn't avoid coming out

in defense of their bishop in media such as the website CubaSí, in

response to the logical reactions of those who have gone so far as to

ask even the Vatican for the immediate removal of its servant.

Clearly Jaime Ortega is trying to get, this time, what not even Fidel

himself at the beginning of his adventure obtained in his tour in those

same parts, though at the cost, then, of denying that he intended to

implement Communism here, and saying that his beard was not in imitation

of Karl Marx's but rather of Lincoln's.

The agents of the Wasp Network didn't have orders as urgent as this.

Taken together, all of the international missions of the past would not

have coveted a goal as high as that of the success of this one,

depending on one of the last cards the regime has to play in its

desperation to survive.

If the Catholic Church has political pretensions in a post-Castro Cuba

and wants to gain an advantage with the figure of its Cardinal, it is

not giving him a clean slate for it. If this is the smooth transition to

which Benedict XVI himself alluded from afar before arriving in Cuba,

the Pope is sadly mistaken.

The despicable role of the leader of the Cuban Catholic Church does no

favors to the hundreds of its practitioners who work daily to alleviate

the pain of the people, and it stains the Church, in its present

history, a stain that will not escape future analysis, much less that of

He to whom we all must give an account of ourselves, especially when we

have been given greater responsibility.

Translator's note:

*UMAP = "Military Units in Aid of Production." These were Cuban forced

labor camps for homosexuals, religious believers, and others considered

"counterrevolutionary." They operated between 1965 and 1968.

May 4 2012


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