August 7, 2006 A.D.
U.S. Secretary of State
Washington, D.C., USA
Honorable Señorita Rice:
My courteous greetings to you.
I just read your plea to us Cubans who live in the Republic of Cuba that we not abandon the Island and take ourselves to the United States, according to what the Associated Press has published, due to a supposed uncertainty among Cubans because of the illness of President Fidel Castro.
I also have read an untruth on the part of your government, made public outside President Bush's ranch in Texas by spokesperson Tony Snow, saying that the United States does not have plans to invade Cuba.
Señorita Secretary, with regard to these two statements, permit me, with all due respect, to make two things known to you:
1) The overwhelming majority of the Cuban people – I am not exaggerating if I say 97% of them: 10,767,000 Cuban men and women – have no intention to leave Cuba, and we are conscious that we live in the midst of this revolutionary project of liberty, independence, and socialist democracy, which we are not going to renounce. We do not deny that the remaining 3% -- 333,000 citizens – could wish to leave Cuba, due to 333,000 different reasons. If you wish, you could double that number and say that there are 666,000; which wouldn't make any difference. At the same time, it is not we Cubans who have encouraged abandoning the Island in order to create difficulties for anyone, but rather, on the contrary, it is the United States which for decades, has stimulated this with its migratory policies, which favor Cubans for political reasons while discriminating against other nationalities.
I also want to make known to you that this Cuban who is writing to you, who lives on this Island, could have "various reasons" to leave the country and go live in your supposed paradise, because, after 40 years of working as a priest in the Episcopal Church of Cuba and receiving my retirement benefits from the Church Pension Fund in New York, your government has ordered that the payment of my retirement benefits be blockaded, for the sole reason that I live in Cuba, and is holding them in my name in a blocked bank account in New York, against every legal principle which states that retirement funds cannot be embargoed. But rather than thinking that this would be a reason to go live in the paradise of your country, among many other reasons this is one more reason to believe neither in your paradise nor in your democracy.
2) At the same time, Mr Tony Snow can save himself his absurd declarations made outside the Presidential ranch in Texas, to the effect that the United States does not have plans to invade Cuba, because we are a country that, absolutely, does not believe in the veracity of any declarations made by your Government, so that he himself should not believe what he is saying, and he should know that yes, we are preparing ourselves for "all options" from the United States. The only thing that Mr. Snow wasn't wrong about was in affirming that "Cubans will determine their own destiny" – but not in the way that he thinks.
Pablo O. Marichal
Presbyter of the Episcopal Church of Cuba
Episcopal Church of Cuba
Parish of the Faithful to Jesus
Pueblo Nuevo, Matanzas, Cuba
Canon Pablo O. Marichal, MT, Rector