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When Castro Met Francis…

By: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo - @OLPL - Sep 24, 2015, 10:52 am
Pope Francis legitimizes Castro's populist manipulation of Catholicism.
Pope Francis legitimizes Castro’s populist manipulation of Catholicism. (20 minutos)

EspañolFor the third time, the Castro regime ordered the Cuban people, blinded by both ideology and religion, to welcome the Catholic pope to the island.

To the tune of half-hearted Ave Marias and atheist hallelujahs, between rum-induced laughter and government security disguised in civilian clothing, Pope Francis unleashed his anti-embargo crusade during an event that seemed more political than ecclesiastical.

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Just like any people in a primitive state, we Cubans are an infinite fountain of superstition. We mock religion, yet practice rituals of saints and Santería. God plays no role in our day to day life, yet we continue to make promises to Catholic icons. Now we line up to venerate his minister on earth as if he were some media celebrity.

If there were a study gauging the mental maturity of people around the world, Cuba must be around 16th-century levels. Besides heart transplants and bone plate surgeries, we have barely advanced since the days of thieves and convicts, of careerists and musketeers, of foremen and cardinals, of generals and doctors: we remain that same ancient country abandoned to its fate among scoundrels and despots.

Thus, Cuba’s incipient capitalism has always been much more a crude, primitive imitation than republican. Then, thanks to Castro’s 1959 Revolution, our current Medieval Marxism was born.

Frankly, Jorge Mario Bergolio cannot pretend to be an Argentinean Jesuit, —with a strange mix of Peronism and liberation theology, —and simultaneously aspire to be everyone’s pope. Of all issues, he comes to pontificate about mercy, without once mentioning that this was the Latin American dictatorship that most undermined Argentinean democracy.

From UN votes to the Falkland Islands war, the Castro regime openly sided with the leader of the military junta, General Videla.

As if he were a statue of the Virgin Mary, supposedly secular Cubans make written promises to the pope, in exchange for a miracle. On a pair of murals in Havana’s Jesuit sanctuary, you can read some of the Babel-like barbarism of our insane ramblings.

With confused writings in hand and the due disguise required in a police state, the anonymous mass —begged Pope Francis: for visas to escape the island; for employment; for pardons, for solutions to their real-estate problems; for a car, a cell phone, a medal.

They asked him, somewhat redundantly, for an end to the US trade embargo, and of course, love and “health, health, health,” like Major General Fulgencio Batista used to say in the 1950s.

The days of Jorge Bergolio in Cuba are marked with military deployments, arrests, masses infiltrated by state agents, and forced labor. With each visiting pope, our Caribbean communism sinks to new spiritual lows, blackening and hardening our souls. In the Church of Castro, there is only time for totalitarianism.

Poor Cubans, so comfortably blinded by Castroism, and so complacently cowardly at the slightest ray of light.

Translated by Rachel Rodriguez.

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo is a Cuban writer and photographer, a visiting fellow of the International Writers Project, and an adjunct professor at Brown University. Follow @OLPL and his blog Lunes de Post-Revolución.