Dagoberto Valdés Hernández, director of [Catholic] digital magazine Convivencia [Coexistence] published from the Cuban province of Pinar del Río, told Radio Martí this Wednesday that the conversations between Raul Castro’s government and the Catholic Church, are happening in a very complicated national and international context. Valdés said that at the time [of the agreement to negotiate] the regime was “in an alley without outlet” [an impasse] after the death caused by a hunger of strike of Orlando Zapata, the hunger strike of Guillermo Fariñas and the repression against the Ladies in White.

Valdés, who is a very well known Cuban lay Catholic leader and who was part of the Pontifical Commission for Peace and Justice, expressed caution about the conversations as long as there are no tangible results because, he said, it could all be a escape valve desperately sought by the government to alleviate the [internal social] pressure using the prestige and credibility of the Church.

Según Valdés en cuanto a la llamada mediación de la Iglesia en esas conversaciones cabría preguntarse cuál es la contraparte que se sienta en el otro lado de la mesa.

According to Valdés, it is necessary to ask who is the counterpart to the Church in these negotiations: “The Church must ensure the dignity of the people, but the [country’s] political orientation is a matter for the lay. […] is not its function, that’s why now, when people speak so fashionably of mediation, I ask myself who is on the other side because he who is the middle to mediate, needs at least two counterparts or two groups of counterparts. […] it brings me great joy I congratulate myself, and congratulate myself with the Church for the recognition of its role as a mediator. Yet still, one must ask himself who is at the other end of the table.”

News with Spanish, including audio, here.

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