The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Cuba has expressed its concern about the huge protests by Cubans who have taken to the streets since Sunday to express “their discomfort at the deterioration of the economic and social situation our people are experiencing and which has increased significantly.”
“We cannot close our eyes or look away, as if nothing were happening, given the events that our people experienced yesterday, Sunday, and which in some places continue to occur” said in a statement released on Monday (12) the bishops of the Cuban Catholic Church.
In their statement, the religious said that the government “has responsibilities and has tried to take measures to alleviate the aforementioned difficulties, but we also understand that the people have the right to express their needs, desires and hopes and publicly express how some of the measures are they were taken”.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops also expressed concern that the response to these complaints “is the immobility that contributes to continuing problems without solving them.”
“Not only do we see that situations are getting worse, but we are also heading towards rigidity and hardening of positions that can engender negative responses, with unpredictable consequences that would harm us all”, denounces the note.
The bishops argue that “a favorable solution will not be reached through impositions or calls for confrontation, but when there is mutual listening, the search for common agreements and when concrete and tangible steps are taken that contribute, with the support of all Cubans without exclusion, for the construction of the Homeland ‘with all and for the good of all’.”
The statement also warns that “violence breeds violence” and that “today’s aggressiveness opens wounds and feeds grudges for tomorrow that will cost a lot of work to overcome.” The bishops call on the Cubans “not to encourage the crisis situation”, but to use “a serenity of spirit and good will”, in addition to exercising “listening, understanding and an attitude of tolerance” to seek together the path to a just solution and adequate.
After massive demonstrations against the Cuban regime on Sunday, the Castro dictatorship on Monday cut off the internet and increased the police presence on the island. Cubans remain without internet access on Tuesday.
According to the Cubalex legal aid service, between Sunday and Tuesday, 148 people have been arrested or disappeared in Cuba, of which 12 have already been released.