Episcopal Resolution turn blind eye to Castro’s Gulag.
Che Guevara's bloodstained prisons still survive in Fidel Castro's Cuba filled with yet another generation of dissidents and human rights activists. Not that you would learn this fact from reading the resolution on Cuba offered by the Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns of the Episcopal Church Executive Council.
The Episcopal Church recently released its "Blue Book," containing reports from church committees and commissions which meet throughout the three-year interim between General Conventions. There are also resolutions written by these official bodies for consideration at the General Convention, which is meeting this June in Columbus, Ohio.
The resolution offered on Cuba, A016, does not mention Castro's gulag:
Resolution A016 U.S. Policy toward Cuba
Resolved, the House of _____ concurring, That the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church call for an immediate end to all portions of the United States economic embargo against the Republic of Cuba, particularly revisions to the embargo implemented by the U.S. Department of State in 2004; and be it further
Resolved, That dioceses and parishes in the Episcopal Church consider the establishment of companion relationships with the Episcopal Church of Cuba in order to help support the IEC spiritually and, where possible, financially; and be it further
Resolved, That, in order to promote the exchange of religious and political ideals, all members of the Episcopal Church are encouraged to travel to Cuba subject to the availability of licenses from the U.S. government; and receive delegations from the Episcopal Church of Cuba subject to approval by the U.S. government; and be it further
Resolved, That the Episcopal Church recommit itself at all levels to pray for the reconciliation of the United States and the Republic of Cuba, in the Name of the Prince of Peace whose most passionate desire for the Church is the ministry of reconciliation.
The problems that it sees inside Cuba are economic, and it blames these on the United States and its embargo against the communist Caribbean dictatorship. The resolution calls for "an immediate end to all portions of the United States economic embargo against the Republic of Cuba." It also encourages Episcopalians to visit the country in order to "promote the exchange of religious and political ideals."
Some of Cuba's political ideals include "short-term detention, frequent summonses, threats, eviction, loss of employment and restrictions on movement" for dissidents, according to a report by Amnesty International. These dissidents include many whose stand against the dictatorship is motivated by their Christian faith. They are frequently imprisoned for specious crimes such as "potential dangerousness," which is defined in the Cuban penal code as the "special proclivity of a person to commit crimes, demonstrated by his conduct in manifest contradiction of socialist norms."
The proposed resolution goes on to state that the Episcopal Church "recommit[s] itself at all levels to pray for the reconciliation of the United States and the Republic of Cuba." Perhaps it might also offer prayers for people like Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, who is now serving a 25-year sentence for flying the Cuban flag upside-down (as a sign of distress over the human rights situation on the island). Biscet has reportedly experienced beatings, brutal interrogations, threats, and attempted blackmail.
ECUSA Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold visited Cuba in February, meeting with Fidel Castro. In his sermon, Griswold said, "I have been saddened to see the suffering caused by the policies of my country's government." He claimed that U.S. policies "have driven wedges through your country, wedges that are profoundly at odds with the Scriptural call to unity among all people in Christ." The bishop said nothing about the suffering and social divisions caused by the policies of Castro's government.
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Religión en Revolución: Episcopal Resolution turn blind eye to Castro’s Gulag.