Eleven million prisoners

The Catholic Church has taken a hardline position against right-wing dictatorships. But in Cuba, the Church has been silent – or worse – ever since 1960, when Fidel Castro expelled hundreds of Catholic priests because they alerted their parishioners of the communist danger surfacing in government circles. In one especially shameful episode in the 1980s, Ventura, Cipriano, and Eugenio García Marín, and their mother, entered the nunciature in Havana to ask for political asylum. Two days later they saw several priests get out of a black limousine. They were special troops from Castro’s political police who entered the Holy See’s diplomatic mission with the authorization and complicity of the pope’s diplomats in Havana. The three brothers were executed, and their mother was sentenced to 20 years in prison. . . . By pressuring the U.S. to lift the embargo, Cardinal Bertone plays the sad role of an effective ambassador of Cuban communist diplomacy. He also subverts the appraisal of Cuba’s real "crucial problems" when he denounces the external embargo, while remaining silent about a communist regime that muzzles and holds in misery eleven million souls.