2014-12-18 17:44:00

Archbishop of Miami: Cuba/U.S. deal may be a game-changer

(Vatican Radio) Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, the U.S. city where most Cuban exiles live, said on Thursday the agreement between the U.S. and Cuba to restore diplomatic relations could possibly “be a game-changer.”  He said it indicates a new path for the two countries to follow, saying the previous U.S. policy of isolation and confrontation towards Cuba had done nothing to improve the situation for the island’s people. He was interviewed by Susy Hodges.

Earlier, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB),  issued a statement welcoming the announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama of the release of Alan Gross and other prisoners, and of the administration’s action to normalize relations with Cuba.

Please listen to the full  interview by Susy Hodges with Archbishop Thomas Wenski: 

Full text of the USCCB’s statement follows:


We share the joy of the family of Alan Gross and of all Americans upon hearing the news of his release from over five years of custody in Cuba, as well as the humanitarian release of other prisoners. We are also encouraged by today’s announcement by the Administration of important actions that will foster dialogue, reconciliation, trade, cooperation and contact between our respective nations and citizens.


Our Conference has long held that universal human rights will be strengthened through more engagement between the Cuban and American people. For decades, the USCCB has called for the restoration of diplomatic relations between our nations. We strongly support the review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. 


We believe it is long past due that the United States establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba, withdraw all restrictions on travel to Cuba, rescind terrorist designations aimed at Cuba, encourage trade that will benefit both nations, lift restrictions on business and financial transactions, and facilitate cooperation in the areas of environmental protection, drug interdiction, human trafficking and scientific exchanges. Engagement is the path to support change in Cuba and to empower the Cuban people in their quest for democracy, human rights and religious liberty.

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