Saturday, August 06, 2011

Cuba's Raul Castro Says Government Should Welcome Religious Believers

Cuba's president, Raul Castro, gave a speech (full text) to Cuba's Parliament (Legislature of the National Assembly of People's Power) on Monday, reviewing economic and other developments in recent months.  A lengthy section of his speech was captioned: "A Painful Indictment Caused by Errors in the Implementation of the Cadre Policy and Attitudes Toward Religion." Castro described at length the demotion of a government employee who "became the victim of the dominant mentality at distinct levels of the Party and state, because of professing religious beliefs and on occasions, attending services at the church in her locality."  Saying he wished to "repair this injustice," he spoke at length about the need to respect those who hold religious beliefs:
Many years ago our Revolution overcame the scenes of confrontation with some of the religious institutions, a stage during which both parties committed excesses of greater or lesser magnitude. We are also aware of the enemy’s aspirations to foment confrontation and distrust between believers and the revolutionary process, calculations which have proved themselves erroneous because, from the outset, the vast majority of Cubans from modest backgrounds with religious beliefs supported the Revolution.
To anyone who is in any doubt about that, I would recommend that they read the Bush (Junior) Plan for transition in Cuba, which we know has not been abolished, and the role to be allocated to all the religious organizations in its subversive strategy against our country and which, despite the failure reaped, we know that these intentions have not been renounced....
...[A]ttitudes like those criticized here endanger our principal weapon for consolidating independence and national sovereignty; in other words, the unity of the nation.
Peoples World yesterday reported on Castro's speech.