Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pope Francis and his Visit to Cuba: A Conversation

Miami's Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Dagoberto Valdés discuss the visit of Pope Francis to Cuba

Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Dagoberto Valdés
This morning had the pleasure to attend a gathering to discuss the recent visit of the Pontiff to Cuba at St. Thomas University. Unexpectedly the press was on hand and a reporter for El Nuevo Herald immediately asked me for a comment, even before the event had started. I explained that I had come to listen, but he insisted that I provide a comment on my opinion on the Pope's visit to Cuba and I expressed my disappointment in the silence surrounding the repression of dissidents during his visit, including of those invited to meet Pope Francis who were prevented from doing so twice by Cuban regime officials.  According to a tally prepared by journalist Marc Masferrer, at least 238 Cuban dissidents were arrested during the Pope's visit to Cuba. Three Cuban dissidents who were able to to get within earshot of Pope Francis before being tackled by Cuban state security remain jailed and the Human Rights Foundation is calling for their release

Taken from Dagoberto's power point presentation
Archbishop Wenski made some brief remarks on the visit and apologized for the hoarseness in his voice acquired with the heavy travel itinerary with Pope Francis first in Cuba and then later in the United States. Dagoberto Valdés Hernández, founder of Convivencia magazine and the Civic Education Center in Pinar del Rio gave a detailed analysis of what went on during the visit and the themes touched on by Pope Francis and the impact the visit was having in Cuba. Below are video excerpts from Dagoberto's presentation (In Spanish).

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