We already had a quote of the day and thought for the day but I wanted to highlight this quote as well…

“I am just ecstatic, I’d have never even dreamed about having a Latin American pope! It’s a miracle to me! I am so happy that there is a man of the New World at the helm of the Holy See now. It’s a victory for the Americas, both North and South. Personally, I hope he can do for Cuba what John Paul II did for Eastern Europe, liberate it.”

-Enrique Polick, 52, a Cuban-American who had come to Rome for the conclave and was jumping up and down in St. Peter’s Square with a Cuban flag according to the New York Times



8 thoughts on “Ditto

  1. Sorry Enrique-he did it in conjunction with President Reagan. Some magical historical convergence for lack of a better term. Read Berta Soler’s quote just below, she seems to me to be more more realistic.

    • Henry, Just like Benedict XVI, John Paul II gave fidel legitimacy by not condemning the regime and going to Cuba. His anti-communist creds went out the window with that one. (Not to mention his soft-peddling che.) And Omar is spot on: Reagan, Thatcher and JP-II, not JP-II alone, were the fortuitous triumvirate that defeated (traditional) communism.

  2. No doubt, George. You’re making leaps from what the man said to what you think he said. He mentioned JP2 in the context of Eastern Europe, not Cuba. I agree with the man that if he could have the same stance toward Cuba that JP2 had toward Eastern Europe that it would be a positive development over the enabling that the previous pontiff engaged in. That’s all.

  3. “Henry, Just like Benedict XVI, John Paul II gave Fidel legitimacy by not condemning the regime and going to Cuba.”

    Ditto George,

    For some reason that I cannot understand John Paul II fervent anti-Communism stance was absent in his dealings with Fidel Castro. I think it was a big mistake on his part and further proof that even a man of his high statute and holiness still could make a huge mistake.

    I never liked the fact that John Paul II (and Benedict XVI) did not meet with the Cuban opposition while all the time we saw pictures and films of him and Fidel Castro acting as his tour guide during his trip. The fact that these Popes did not strongly condemned the Castro tyranny while on their trips to Cuba it further legitimized the tyranny as you accurately pointed out.

    John Paul II and Benedict XVI at very minimum should have publicly condemned the Castro tyranny in strong terms in front of the international media during their trips to Cuba. If they would have taken those steps it would have put enormous pressure on the Castro tyranny.

    Fidel and Raul Castro for all their evil ways would not have dared to throw the Popes from Cuba on their trips if they would have taken these courageous steps because Fidel and Raul knew very well the ramification of such actions on their part.

    Though I find Benedict XVI conduct in Cuba even worse and more despicable given the fact that the human rights violations in Cuba did not improve an iota after John Paul II visit in 1998.

    The bottom line is that both John Paul II and Benedict XVI could have done much more for Cuba’s freedom and failed to do so, history will judge them for their inaction in this regard…

  4. It’s a nice thought, but given the Vatican’s lousy record on Cuba, don’t hold your breath. Still, since he’s had serious disagreements with the Kirchner woman, one would hope he’d be less cordial toward Castro, Inc. than Ratzinger was, or at least be much more circumspect. That last papal visit looks more disgustingly disgraceful by the day, and it’s all the evidence I need to know that Ratzinger was clearly not up to the job and needed to be replaced. Let’s hope his replacement is a significant improvement.

    And yes, JPII dropped the ball on Cuba for sure, especially in view of how hard-nosed he was with Pinochet, whom he tried to hold at arm’s length when he visited Chile. I suppose one should attribute the Che soft-soaping to ignorance, but I suspect PR/PC considerations were involved. Wouldn’t want to offend all those Latrines, now would we? As for his much-vaunted anti-communism, I think the key thing was that he was Polish, which is why he helped Poland and behaved very differently regarding Cuba.

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