The Latin American Federation of Rural Women, FLAMUR-Cuba and the League of Independent Farmers have requested the FHRC to disclose this open letter to the Cardinal of Cuba
November 21, 2020
Your Excellency Juan de la Caridad Garcia Rodriguez
Cardinal of Cuba
We address you as a sign of respect for the Cuban Catholic Church and for you as a Cardinal and as a person.
We call on the Cuban Church to act immediately before the Cuban government to put an end to the violence that looms over a handful of its sheep in the San Isidro neighborhood. They protested, by reading poetry in a house, the arbitrary detention and summary conviction imposed on a brother of theirs. Their peaceful protest was met with a hyperbolic military siege and the blockade of food, water and medicine to their premises. This official action has unleashed a new logic that threatens to lead to a more far-reaching tragedy.
If the red lines that should not be crossed are not drawn today, a catastrophe will come upon us sooner rather than later.
We do so with the certainty that the values that Jesus preached are the same ones that you turn to every day for inspiration and guidance when, together with our people, you face the complex challenges before the Nation.
Today, dear Monsignor, the divine will has wanted all these problems to manifest and concentrate in a very humble Havana neighborhood that bears the name of San Isidro, a saintly farmworker known for his piety towards the poor.
We do not think it is by chance that Our Lord has chosen this place to summon a group of His sheep to express themselves, with peaceful poetry readings, at a time when intolerance represses farmers and drives the people to a horrifying famine.
As farmers we have promoted a five-point national agreement (Without Farming there is no Country) to avert this tragedy. But they would not listen. Also these youths have denounced the tremendous injustice of the state monopolizing, on the one hand, the collection and sale of food and, on the other, selling it to the people in dollars, also at monopoly prices.
But arrogance continues to this day driving our rulers away from Jesus.
Is it possible to work a miracle in San Isidro? Can we together prevent these youths from being crushed by the deaf forces of selfishness and intolerance? Can we together turn this dramatic situation into a point of national inflection that opens paths to the future that we all deserve?
From this moment on, we will go to our churches, peacefully and respectfully, to declare ourselves in permanent vigil and prayer for these youths. There, we will pray God to give clarity and strength to all those who are called to protect His flock. And also to finally enlighten those who with their selfishness, blindness and intolerance are pushing us rapidly to a terrible famine and a tragic national conflict.
We believe that the peaceful message from these youths is an opportunity that the Lord has given us.
With the utmost respect and faith,
Lisandra Urraca Guerra, Latin American Federation of Rural Women, FLAMUR-Cuba,
Esteban Ajete Abascal, League of Independent Farmers.