Cuba needs more than a papal visit

To the editor:


I left Cuba in 1995, and I visited the island once in 1996. I will never be able to go back to the country where I was born because I am a fugitive from the State Security Services. Far from my country, in Milan, Italy, where I live, the Castro Regime persecutes me. I think that the visit by Pope Benedict XVI is important but I don’t think that it will make a significant difference with respect to the changes that my country desires. We have lived more that 50 years of Castro’s tyranny and we know the monster — the dictatorship. Amnesty is a necessity for the Regime because Castro’s prisons are full of victims, some because of common offenses and others for political offenses.

I will never finish recounting the sufferings of my people, particularly the family divisions. My parents, my grandparents and many of my friends are on that island that His Holiness is going to visit, and I was not able to say goodbye to them. But it doesn’t matter; there are many Cubans in Italy that are in the same condition. The Pallavolo player Tai Agüero lost her mother, and was not able to say goodbye to her. In 2008, a young man named Ali, who also lives in Milan lost his mother and wasn’t able to say goodbye either. The stories of the failure of the Cuban socialism and the victims of the Castro Regime are many and cannot be forgotten because of the pope’s visit.

In Italy, I learned to love God, because the Castro Regime used to tell us that God did not exist. I understood that without God’s spiritual strength Cuba would not know again what is a democracy. The Castro brothers have manipulated and are still manipulating the Cuban Catholic Church. The Cuban Catholic Church needs a renovation, Holy Father.

Isac Ramón Castellanos Lara

Milan, Italy

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