Catholics and Baptists oppose Trump’s decision to roll back Obama-time policies on Cuba-US ties.
US Bishops are coming togetherto request the president to reconsider his position on the ties between the US and Cuba. President Donald Trump has rolled back the reopening of ties between the US and Cuba, putting an end to the increasing dialogue between the two nations. Cardinal Jaime Ortega warns that the president’s new policies would worsen the relationship between the two countries.
The President said that the Obama-led administration was actually encouraging the dictatorship in Cuba, and supporting their role in creating instability in other countries. He said, “I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” adding that the previous governments had completely ignored the large-scale human-rights violations that existed in the country. “With God’s help a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve,” Trump said.
Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces said that the Bishops of the US are opposed to the policies of Trump, and expressed their solidarity with the Bishops and Church of Cuba and the Holy See, adding that the Church has always sought to unite people. He further said, “It is important to continue to promote dialogue and encounter between our neighboring nations and peoples.”
The Embassies of the respective countries will continue to operate. Americans can also bring Cuban products such as Rum into the US. however, there will be strict enforcement of the travel exemptions that have existed in traveling between the two nations. The policy also prevents Americans from doing any business with Cuba-owned companies. Trump is also making efforts to push against the UN’s plan to lift the embargo on Cuba until the country does something to address the issue of human rights in the country.
“The Cuban government must be urged to respect religious freedoms and to extend greater social, political and economic rights to all Cubans,” said Bishop Cantu, recognizing that the country does indeed stand guilty of infringing the human rights of the people. However, he insists that “It is important to continue to promote dialogue and encounter between our neighboring nations and peoples.”
Not only are the Catholic Bishops against the new policy, but also the Baptists. The Alliance of Baptists director of partnership relations Paula Clayton argues that the embargo which the President is pushing for is hurting the Cubans more – and at a time when the people are already suffering, the embargo will place an additional burden on them.