“Seek good and not evil, and you will live; so will be the truth what you say:
that the Lord God Almighty is with you. Hate evil! Love good!
Let justice flow like water, and honesty like an inexhaustible spring.
Amos, 5:14, 24.
Being an integral part of this people and country, our entire Church, women and men, laity, clergy and bishops make a call for Peace and Life in this crucial hour that the Cuban Homeland is going through.
On Sunday, July 11, protests took place in various cities of the country due to the difficult economic situation, along with the health crisis that our people are experiencing. The implementation of new Economic Regulations/Reforms at the beginning of this year, as well as other restrictive measures have aggravated the crisis that had been dragging on for a long time, reaching the extreme situation we are facing today. The permanent lack of basic food products and lack of medicines, among other misfortunes has generated uncertainty, frustration, a sense of being overwhelmed and despair. All of us are experiencing increasing emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual decline. The average salary has been dramatically devalued, made worse by the fact that the most important products are only offered in the new stores for foreign currencies. Electricity generating plants have gone out of operation due to various breakdowns, leading to power outages, which have only added more concern to the population in the middle of summer.
In the midst of so much darkness, we must admire the work of the scientists who, with such passion, were able to obtain vaccines for the relief of the people. And recognize the medical and paramedics who work day and night without rest and with almost no resources trying to save their countrymen, in the midst of the multiplication of contagion on scales never before foreseen.
On the other hand, the appearance and dissemination of new COVID strains has increased the number of people infected to a great extent, most unfortunately among girls and boys. The number of deaths has also increased dramatically.
All these issues formed the breeding ground to a great extent, for many citizens to express their discomfort and disagreement publicly in different cities across the country.
Expressing all concerns and frustration is the right of every citizen and every person. The right to freedom of expression in peaceful public demonstrations is a Human Right.
The Church is watching with great concern that spaces and opportunities are not being provided for people to civically express their feelings. As long as they are manifested in a peaceful and respectful framework.
And we make an urgent call that in no way gives rise to provocations, confrontations or any other excessive act that results in violence, aggression, offenses, humiliation, or loss of human life. This doesn’t have to happen! That will never be a way forward.
Every Human Being is created in the image and likeness of God, which is why they have dignity and a sacred character. Life is the most precious gift.
And God urges that reason, sanity and responsibility prevail. The road must be built by all Cuban men and women. There will always be divergences, diverse opinions, different thoughts, there is the richness and integrity of being a collective People. It is necessary to raise the value of dialogue to seek understanding and ways of solving big issues. Likewise, the Church exhorts the pertinent Authorities to promote actions to contain all violence and achieve peace. The confrontation between Cubans is unacceptable.
All Cubans, from one end of this beautiful island to the other, have the same blood, soul and ethos that runs through their veins, which imprints their distinctive Cuban character. We are sisters and brothers forged on solid foundations, like the Cuban “who taught us to think”, the Priest and Master Félix Varela, who said: “There is no country without virtue, nor virtue with impiety”. And also molded on the thought of the Apostle José Martí of whom each and every Cuban is so proud, and who said: “Every true man must feel the blow that any man’s cheek receives on the cheek.”
The Church exhorts us to implore God for protection and strength in times of tribulation, for every home, every young person, girl and boy, for the adults and the elderly, for the sick and vulnerable, especially for those who have departed. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can discern in hope the future path. He also makes a call to all who with sensitive hearts to gather resources and send for the suffering, especially for the Province of Matanzas.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we exhort all of our Cuban people: Amen el bien! May Justice and honesty flow like wáter – like an inexhaustible spring!
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forever. Amen.
+ Maria Griselda Delgado del Carpio
La Habana, 12 de julio del 2021.