The Church and the Critical Left in Cuba

by Samuel Farber

The original Spanish language version of this article was published in Nueva Sociedad, 242, Nov.- Dec., 2012.

1. Gustavo Andújar, "Medios católicos en Cuba son distintos pero no ajenos," interview by Patricia Grogg, Cuba a la Mano, Oct. 14, 2010.

2. Anneris Ivette Leyva, "Asiste Raúl a la inauguración de la nueva sede del Seminario San Carlos y San Ambrosio," Diario Granma 14, no. 309, Nov. 4, 2010).

3. For some telling figures showing the weakness of pre-revolutionary Cuban Catholicism see Jorge Domínguez, "International and National Aspects of the Catholic Church in Cuba," Cuban Studies 19, 1989, 45-46

4. Marc Frank, Reuters, Oct. 4, 2011.

5. Yarelis Rico Hernández, "La Iglesia siempre tendrá algo que decir y algo que aportar," interview with Father Yosvany Carvajal, Palabra Nueva, julio-agosto 2012, 3.

6. [espaciolaical@arquidiocesisdelahabana.org] Suplemento digital No. 194 (June 2012) Convocatoria de la II Edición del título propio de la UCAM-Máster en Dirección de Empresas (MBA) en La Habana.

7. Marc Frank, Reuters, Oct. 4, 2011.

8. Yarelis Rico Hernández, "La Iglesia siempre tendrá algo que decir y algo que aportar," 3.

9. "La revista Espacio Laical crea el Laboratorio Casa Cuba," Suplemento Digital. Espacio Laical. Arquidiócesis de la Habana, No. 190, June 2012.

10. Ibid.

11. Lenier González Mederos, "Iglesia Católica y nacionalismo: los retos tras la visita del papa Benedicto XVI", Suplemento Digital. Espacio Laical. Arquidiócesis de la Habana, No. 177, May 2012, 1.

12. Ibid., 2.

13. Ibid., 2.

14. Ibid., 4.

15. Ibid., 1.

16. Ibid., 4.

17. Ibid., 4.

18. Yarelis Rico Hernández, "La Iglesia siempre tendrá algo que decir y algo que aportar," 3.

19. See, for example, the historical study by Rigoberto Segreo Ricardo, Iglesia y Nación en Cuba, 1868-1898, Santiago de Cuba: Editorial Oriente, 2010.

20. See David Ost’s Introduction to Adam Michnik, The Church and the Left, edited, translated and with an Introduction by David Ost. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1993, 17-18.

21. "’No hay patria sin virtud’: Carta pastoral del eminentísimo señor Cardenal Jaime Ortega y Alamino en el 150 aniversario de la muerte del Padre Félix Varela" Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana 28/29 (verano/otoño 2003): 101.

22. "El cardenal Ortega lamenta el ‘estado decadente’ de la sociedad" cubaencuentro, 9 septiembre 2009, www.cubaencuentro.com

23. Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, "Diocese of Havana denounces Cuban Government’s Promotion of Homosexuality," LifeSiteNews.com, June 24, 2008

24. María Elena Benítez Pérez, La familia Cubana en la segunda mitad del siglo XX. Cambios sociodemográficos, La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2003, 88.

25. Dalia Acosta, "Health-Cuba: Abortion Competes with Contraceptives," IPS, June 1, 2006.

26. David Ost’s Introduction to Adam Michnik, 26.

27. Adam Michnik, The Church and the Left.

28. Ibid., 5.

29. Ibid., 182.

30. Ibid., 186.

31. Ibid., 192.

32. Ibid., 61.

33. Ibid., 128. Michnik’s emphasis.

34. David Ost’s Introduction to Adam Michnik, 16-17.

35. The material aid that the State provided to the Church to build a new seminary is a concession that cannot be considered a democratic right. Although such help could be seen as a violation of the separation of Church and State, it could also be understood as just compensation, in a transitional period, for the many years that the State deprived the Church of its rights such as proselytizing new Catholics and training new priests.

36. De Paz Sánchez, Manuel, Franco y Cuba: Estudios sobre España y la Revolución. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands: Ediciones Idea, 2006, 160.

37. Orlando Márquez Hidalgo, "La Iglesia Como Puente de Acercamiento", Suplemento Digital Espacio Laical Arquidiócesis de la Habana, (July 2012, No. 195), 13.

38. It is worth noting in this context that the recently deceased prominent Catholic dissident Oswaldo Payá did not uphold the constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State in his very detailed proposals for a transition program in Cuba. See the discussion of this issue in my recently published book Cuba Since the Revolution of 1959. A Critical Assessment, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011, 240-241.

39. For a very informative source on the serious deficiencies of Cuban Communism in both of these areas during the seventies and eighties, see the account by Cuba’s pioneering sexual educator Monika Krause-Fuchs, Monika y la Revolución: Una mirada singular sobre la historia reciente de Cuba. Tenerife, Canary Islands: Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria, 2002.

40. Oswaldo Payá not only advocated the banning of abortion but implicitly various kinds of investigations such as cell stem research since he supported the banning of "any practice or investigation that manipulates or suppresses human life." Oswaldo Payá, Documento de Trabajo para el programa de transición (Working Document for the Transition Program), 12 diciembre 2003, segunda parte, programa, capítulo IX, sección 4, no. 59. Here or pdf.

41. Oswaldo Payá also advocated the discouragement and elimination of pornography, which would of course entail widespread and cultural censorship. Ibid., part 2, programa, chapter IX, introduction.