Cuban opposer Oswaldo Payá, Coordinator of the Movimiento Cristiano Liberación and leader of the Varela Project, denounced today [Thursday, 6/17/10] from Havana that the process of negotiation between the Catholic hierarchy in the island and the Cuban government is excluding the dissidents and said that the Church should act as a “facilitator” of the dialogue amongst all the parts.

In a communiqué released today [Thursday, 6/17/10], Payá also accused the Spanish government of having “accepted the rules of the Cuban government” in its role as interlocutor between the European Union and Cuba, and particularly that the “highest representatives of the Spanish government do not engage in dialogue with the peaceful Cuban dissidence.”

“We believe that Cubans should not be relegated to spectators of this or any other negotiation or dialogue, but must be ready to be protagonists of their liberation,” says the 2002 winner of the Sarajov Award, granted by the European Parliament, after pointing that “nobody must pretend to be a political actor from the Church, because that turns the church into a political entity” instead of a “facilitator of the dialogue.”

Aranguren denies the exclusion

The Bishop of the Cuban province of Holguín, Emilio Aranguren, denied that the Catholic Church has an intention to exclude, although he mentioned that he wasn’t aware of the text written by Payá, reported EFE.

“I don’t think that in any moment the Cuban bishops have that sense of exclusion,” said, at a press conference in Havana, Aranguren, who is also a member of the Permanent Committee of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Cuba.

Aranguren referred to this matter when answering questions from journalists at a press conference in Havana celebrating the X Social Week of Church in Cuba, which was inaugurated yesterday [Wednesday, 6/16/10] by the Vatican Secretary of Foreign Relations, Dominique Mamberti.

Mamberti will not meet with dissidents

The Foreign Secretary of the Vatican, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, will not meet with Cuban dissidents or with the relatives of political prisoner during his official visit to the island, which will go on until Sunday, reported Europa Press (in Spanish).

The Ladies in White, and organization formed by wives and relatives of prisoners of conscience, were also left aside of the meetings scheduled by the Archbishop, in spite of the fact that these women consider themselves practicing Catholic and have managed to continue their traditional peaceful walks in Havana thanks to the support of the clergy.

Both the hierarchy of Cuban Catholic church and the authorities in the island have insisted in unlinking the visit of Mamberti with the dialogue initiated a month ago with the outcome, for the moment, of a “license” for the conditional release of an extremely ill Ariel Sigler Amaya, and the transfer to jails closer to their homes of 12 political prisoners.

for the freedom of all cuban political prisoners
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