Friday, March 23, 2012

Pope: Communism sucks

On his way to Cuba from Mexico, the Miami Herald is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI said that the Communist system which Cuba has had since Fidel Castro grabbed power in 1959 is a failure and that government needs to change:

On Monday, Benedict will head for Cuba, and said it is "evident that Marxist ideology as it was conceived no longer responds to reality," and he urged Cubans to "find new models, with patience, and in a constructive way."

The fact that Communism stinks is not news to anyone in Cuba or anyone who has ever stepped foot in a country ruled by Marxists. But when a pope states the obvious it carries more weight. We all know that the Castro is nude: But it is nonetheless surprising to hear the pope declare out loud that the Castro has no clothes.

The comment about Marxism, in response to questions from a journalist, was as blunt as anything his predecessor, John Paul II, made during his groundbreaking 1998 trip to Cuba, though the earlier pope is widely credited with helping bring down socialism in eastern Europe.

The pope has not yet called for any immediate changes in Cuban governance:

Benedict cautioned that "this process requires patience and also decisiveness."

Asked about reports that dissidents in Cuba are still routinely harassed and arrested, including in the weeks leading up to his visit, Benedict said that the church wants "to help in the spirit of dialogue to avoid trauma and to help bring about a just and fraternal society, as we want in the whole world."

"We want to collaborate in this sense, and it's obvious that the church is always on the side of freedom, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion," the pope said.

The Cuban government sidestepped the pope's condemnation of the ideology that has turned Cuba from the best country in Latin America into one of the worst off:

Asked about Benedict's statement, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the government respects all opinions. "We consider the exchange of ideas to be useful. Our people have deep convictions developed over the course of our history," he said, adding that the Cuban system "is a democratic social project ... which is constantly perfecting itself."

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