Hunger strike in Cuba
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    The Cardinal’s Bad Memory

    The Cardinal’s Bad Memory / 14ymedio, Mario Felix LLeonart
    Posted on June 14, 2015

    14ymedio, Mario Felix Lleonart, Havana, 12 June 2015 – As was expected,
    Cardinal Jaime Ortega’s flat denial of the fact that there are still
    political prisoners in Cuba has leaked from the interview granted to
    Spain’s Ser Chain program Hour 25. It borders on the enigmatic how
    someone in the position of this man is open to asserting something that
    no one believes at all and that has done nothing for either the church
    that he represents or he himself. It is obvious that such a nonsensical
    statement shatters all of the church’s social doctrine that he is called
    upon to support and practice.

    But supposing that the prelate is so badly informed that he is ignorant
    of the existing lists, like that of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights
    and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), that include dozens of prisoners,
    whether supporters of violence or not, but without doubt all
    incarcerated for political reasons, one will have to add that the
    cardinal suffers also from a memory deficit. Because the archbishop must
    at least remember that on the eve of the visit by Benedict XVI on
    February 28, 2012, he had to visit the political prisoner Ernesto Borges
    Perez at Combinado del Este Prison to ask him to give up his hunger
    strike because he was putting the Pope’s visit at risk.

    Ernesto was amenable to the proposal of his pastor, who raised great
    expectations of his liberation with the then-imminent visit. That hope
    was frustrated, as before in 2010, when 126 prisoners were released, or
    later, in December of 2014, when another 53 were freed after the
    announcement of the re-establishment of US-Cuba relations. Many of us
    came to think that it had been he for whom the liberation of the Wasp
    Network spies had been negotiated, until we learned that in reality it
    had been Rolando Sarraff Trujillo, sentenced for a reason similar to his.

    Borges Perez has completed 17 of the 30 years of incarceration to which
    he was sentenced after his death penalty was commuted. He was sentenced
    for his effort to reveal the names of 26 spies that Cuban State Security
    had ready to send to the United States. He was then the main analyst and
    leader of the General Directorate of Counter-Intelligence and apparently
    acted under the influence of the Glasnost and Perestroika winds that
    were blowing in the USSR.

    Converted to Catholicism in prison, where he survives as a fervent
    believer who clings to his faith as his only lifeline of salvation, he
    must have felt an enormous frustration after that visit by his pastor
    who left satisfied on achieving his objective and has never returned to
    see him. I doubt that the two letters of pastoral support addressed to
    him by Benedict XVI through the papal nuncio mitigate his disappointment
    on learning that his pastor did not even take account of him in his
    interview with Hour 25.

    I pray to God that history does not repeat itself and that Ernesto does
    not again declare a hunger strike with the approach of the new papal
    visit in September.

    Translated by MLK

    Source: The Cardinal’s Bad Memory / 14ymedio, Mario Felix LLeonart |
    Translating Cuba –

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