The Corner

Preparations for a Visit (Ctd)

Via MSNBC:

HAVANA — Cuba released 70 members of the dissident Ladies in White group detained during the weekend but warned them not to attend activities related to next week’s visit of Pope Benedict, the group’s leader told Reuters on Monday.

The women, known in Spanish as the “Damas de Blanco,” were freed without charges after being arrested in three separate incidents on Saturday and Sunday when they attempted to march in Havana.

Leader Berta Soler, who was detained twice during the weekend, said in a phone interview she was released on Sunday night and given the warning about the pope, who will come to Cuba March 26-28 and give two public masses.

“They said we couldn’t participate in the masses when the pope comes, neither in Santiago nor in Havana,” Soler said.

“They are mistaken because who is going to prohibit us from being close to Christ, being close to God, to the pope who is represents Christ on earth?” she said.

The Pope should extend these heroines a very specific, very public, invitation to attend.

Soler has said her group would like to meet briefly with the pope to discuss human rights in Cuba but Roman Catholic Church authorities said last week a visit with dissidents was not on the schedule.

The EU’s hierarchy has long had a distinctly feeble (and sometimes worse than that) approach towards the Cuban dictatorship. Agreeing to meet Cuba’s dissidents (and welcoming them to those masses), will give Benedict XVI, a frequent critic of what he sees as the lack of moral foundations underpinning the EU, an ideal opportunity to show how his approach differs from that of the oligarchs of Brussels.

More important, it would be a massive signal of support to the people of Cuba, a nation that has lived under tyranny for far, far too long.

Inevitably, these days, there is an online petition (organized by One Cuba) urging the Pope to meet some of the Cuban dissidents.  I see that Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has signed. Good for her.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More