Immediately after the anniversary of the historic social protests in Cuba, Pope Francis gave absolution to Raúl Castro. As a reminder, ex-president Raúl and brother revolutionary leader Fidel Castro once decided together to torture homosexuals in labor camps to “cure them of their disease”.
He has a special human relationship with Raúl Castro, the Pope said in an interview with Univision. And Cuba is a symbol anyway.
Two days earlier, the human rights organization Human Rights Watch issued a devastating testimony to Cuba’s rulers. But what are 1000 political prisoners, Afro-Cubans beaten to death by the police, 140,000 refugees in eight months and intellectuals and artists forced into exile? For the Pope, at least, they are not worth mentioning.
It is striking: Francis apparently divides the suffering of drowned migrants and environmental crimes into two categories. Those hardships that he publicly laments when they take place in Brazil, the USA or off the coast of Europe, i.e. in countries governed by capitalism. And those he ignores, like in leftist Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua.
That Francis denounces human rights violations like in Bolsonaro’s Brazil or in Lampedusa is right and important. However, the fact that he has been silent for years about migrants from Cuba drowning alone off the coast of Florida or the brutal repression in Venezuela or Nicaragua is stunning.
Cuba’s foreign ministry hailed the papal beatification, saying the pope’s response would support the government and the Cuban people. Ex-spy Gerardo Hernández rejoiced that now those who hate Cuba are surely angry.
But the Catholics in Cuba, like the Conference of Religious Communities, who are demanding the immediate release of hundreds of convicted demonstrators, are really shocked. Just like the conservative Christians who have felt homeless in the Church of Francis for quite some time.
Behind the Pope’s selective mercy there is apparently a “German syndrome”. Namely the sheer fear of being branded right-wing when left-wing crimes are also being criticized.
When Francis was elected head of the church in 2013, the left-leaning daily Pagina 12 reported that he was cooperating with the right-wing military junta (1976-1983).
Angry comments followed, including from the grandmothers of the “Plaza de Mayo” whose grandchildren disappeared without a trace during the dictatorship. But then the Argentinian Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel, himself a victim of the dictatorship and today a supporter of Venezuela, came to his aid and officially acquitted him. Since then, the pope has been silent on left-wing dictatorships. iron.