“Crusade for a Christian Civilization”, N. 2, April-June 1980






The various incidents of refugees seeking asylum in the Peruvian and Venezuelan embassies in Havana for many weeks now are symptomatic of an acute spiritual and material malaise affecting sectors of the Cuban population. Those so af­fected could be a majority of the people, a considerable minority or even a small one. But the fact is that they are forced to do so by an extreme degree of isolation, oppression, and misery. The situa­tion is such as to trouble and shock our generous American people, awakening noble impulses of fel­lowship and concern.

The gravity of this situation became dramatically clear in the last few days when the tyrant — ­Fidel Castro — taking an appar­ently liberal attitude which he has obstinately avoided for a long time now, gave permission for all those who are discontented to leave the beautiful island he has turned into the greatest prison in the his­tory of the Americas. Discontent runs so high that, in just a few hours, some 10,000 Cubans sought asylum in the Peruvian embassy alone.

When we consider these facts, we must remember that, in general, for every desperate person who manages to flee there are many others equally desperate, who do not flee simply because they can­not. So, there are innumerable Cubans unable to flee who deeply yearn for a change in their situ­ation.

All that has happened so far is much more meaningful than the most perfect public opinion poll, however impartial, well-equipped, and specialized the pollster might be.

Thus, our people unexpectedly find themselves facing a situation that is not only troubling but also dramatic to the highest degree. This puts your Administration, if you permit us to say so, in a juncture which tests the whole credibility of American intentions toward other countries.

This credibility has already suf­fered considerable damage among the nations friendly to the United States in the Near East and the Middle East because of the un­expectedness of the diplomatic moves by which we change our policies and friends. The kind of attitude we take toward Cuba could reinforce or shake our credibility with all the countries and peoples of the Americas, whose immense majority feel united to the Cuban people by religious, historical, and ethnic links that we must con­sider if we are not to err very gravely.

Your Administration has, in fact, carried on a continuous action in the Latin American countries to eliminate or soften the dicta­torial regimes established in many of them. Freeing peoples from op­pressive governments was the prin­ciple invoked with missionary-like zeal for this manifold and insis­tent action. Although this policy was applauded by broad sectors of Latin American opinion, none of them gave it more outstanding support than the Communists and their fellow travelers, that is, the sectors most influenced by the worst enemies of our country.

Sensational and scandalous evi­dence of the existence of an inhu­mane and tyrannical police state now surfaces in Cuba. All the dis­orders the U.S. Government alleges for its political interventions in Central and South America seem petty in comparison to it. As you have alleged — not without rea­son — there are indeed, in many instances, serious cases of oppres­sion, moral or physical torture in those countries. In Cuba, however, the facts show that it is not merely a question of serious cases. The whole nation feels morally and physically tortured and oppressed. Therefore, a question arises: If we did so much to alleviate individu­al situations, how much more should we do to alleviate the situation of a whole country?

Certainly, it was noble of you to open our doors to the Cuban refugees. The hope thus raised in those unfortunate people cannot be suppressed by practical difficulties that now arise. For such difficul­ties are small in comparison to the extent of the resources that Provi­dence has granted us. BUT IT IS NOT ONLY A QUESTION OF 10,000 PEOPLE WE ARE TALK­ING ABOUT. THE ENTIRE CU­BAN NATION — if you allow us to repeat, Mr. President — IS BEING TORTURED, AND, IT IS THE NATION AS A WHOLE WHICH MUST BE KEPT IN MIND.

The question as to how far we should go in Cuba, which in the rigor of logic flashes in the mind of every aware American, leads us to present you with a suggestion. A suggestion, by the way, as moder­ate as it could be in view of your previous actions. It is that the United States call on all the govern­ments of the Americas to support us in a demand that Cuba grant free entry to experts enjoying the confidence of the public in the three Americas. Having free access to the unfortunate island, they would be able to carry out there a free, wide-ranging, technical and hu­mane investigation of what really happened there so that the world may know the facts and look for ways to prevent their recurrence.

We do not foresee that those in power in Cuba can comfortably appeal to the only principle in whose name they could resist this measure, the principle of non­-intervention. In fact, their notori­ous intervention in the Caribbean and Central America and their continuous relationship with all the communist parties in South Ameri­ca make Cuba a force of permanent intervention in all of these areas.

Furthermore, the Cuban leaders themselves boast of having inter­vened in Africa. They officially abandoned the principle of non­intervention and affirmed a right to send an expeditionary force to far­away Africa to free the overseas Portuguese provinces from alleged abuses of authority by their mother country.

We do not believe that those who control Cuba can invoke the principle of non-intervention in re­lation to the present scandal in Havana without losing credibility in the eyes of world opinion. This loss of credibility is the terrible price they would have to pay for their contradiction. But what a terrible price we will have to pay for our contradiction, Mr. President, if this time we abstain from intervening in Cuba after such a long and tedi­ously wordy series of interventions in other countries of this hemi­sphere. In these nations we have put out certain fires. In Cuba, are we going to let them burn the whole house down and go unpun­ished?

We ask you, Mr. President, to see in these arguments and this suggestion a desire to collaborate with your Administration. We are moved, not by any political de­signs of our own, but by an impulse of our Christian and patriotic hearts in the face of a situation distressing to us and certainly to millions of other Americans as well.

By appealing to you, respectfully suggesting that you take a path we earnestly desire, we mean to express our wholehearted wish for unity with our country's au­thorities. Please accept, Mr. Presi­dent, our respects and best wishes for success to the advantage of Christian grandeur in America.