Human Rights in Cuba

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Another Pope / Yoani Sánchez
Translator: Unstated, Yoani Sánchez

In just a few weeks Pope Joseph Ratzinger will arrive in Cuba but we are
already breathing something of his incense from a distance. In a country
where many of those who pray in the churches by day light candles at
night to an African deity, the visit from His Holiness awakens
enthusiasm, but also curiosity. The Catholics are preparing their
liturgies and their pomp to receive Benedict XVI, while others wonder if
his arrival will bring some significant transformation in the political
or social situation of the nation. People want to believe that the Holy
Father will push the reform process of Raul's regime, driving it toward
greater speed and depth. The most imaginative even dream that the
highest figure of the Vatican will achieve what the popular rebellion
should achieve: real change.

There are too many differences between this month of March in which his
Holiness will land at the Havana and that January of 1998 when
John Paul II did so. He, who was also known as the "Traveling Pope,"
came preceded by stories relating to the fall of the regimes of Eastern
Europe. Ratzinger, for his part, will arrive at a time when there is an
entire generation of Cubans born after the fall of the Berlin Wall who
don't even know the significance of the initials USSR. At the end of the
nineties Karol Wojtyla lit up our hearts – including those of agnostics
like myself – saying the word "" more than a dozens times in the
Plaza of the Revolution. But now the apathy and discouragement will make
it more difficult for the phrases of Ratzinger to inspire the same
emotion. His visit will be but a pallid reflection of that other,
because we are no longer the same, nor is it the same Pope.

12 February 2012

http://translatingcuba.com/?p=15051

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