13 Central Florida News
Tuesday, August 25, 2009 4:09:58 AM
ORLANDO -- The Catholic Diocese of Orlando is reaching out to Cuba spiritually, financially and politically.
Bishop Thomas Wenski went to Cuba last week as part of a Catholic delegation to check on how donated money is being spent to help the country.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops awarded $860,000 to the Church of Cuba.
When Castro became Cuba's dictator, people were prohibited from attending Catholic services. [JG: to a near-sighted capitalist reporter, anyone who does not kiss the ass of Uncle Sam is immediately labeled as a "dictator." Batista was a "friend" and a "democrat" because he kissed the ass of the Yankee imperialists 24/7.]
About $250,000 of that money went to storm recovery after last year's Hurricanes Gustav and Ike devastated the island nation.
The Orlando diocese raised an additional $50,000 through special collections.
Wenski said that even that money is not enough to put a dent in Cuba's need. The Catholic Church is calling for an end to the embargo.
"We feel it's a very dull instrument that affects the innocent as much as it tries to punish the guilty," Wenski said. "I think it would help, perhaps, open Cuba further if there was a lifting of those restrictions. I think one of the best advertisements for the advantages of American democracy is to see a lot of fat American tourists walking around the country."
Now that the bishops are back in the U.S., Wenski said they are urging the Obama Administration to connect with Cuba to end travel restrictions.
JG: Applause for Bishop Wenski!