Cable sobre la distancia entre la Iglesia y los disidentes católicos

La Sección de Intereses de La Habana realiza un repaso de las principales actividades de la Iglesia cubana

ID: 220341
Date: 2009-08-11 17:54:00
Origin: 09HAVANA492
Source: US Interests Section Havana
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Dunno: 09STATE80209
Destination: VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUB #0492/01 2231754
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 111754Z AUG 09
FM USINT HAVANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4664
INFO RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

S E C R E T HAVANA 000492

NOFORN
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CCA AND INR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/10/2034
TAGS: PINR, PGOV, SCUL, CU
SUBJECT: (C/NF) THE CHURCH AND TRANSITION IN CUBA
(C-AL9-01566)

REF: STATE 80209

Classified By: Chief of Mission Jonathan Farrar for reasons 1.4 (c) and
(d)

1. (SBU) This cable is in response to reftel. We will also
keep these questions in mind as we continue to meet with
relevant contacts.

2. (C/NF) QUESTION A: ARE CHURCH OFFICIALS CULTIVATING
CUBAN PROFESSIONALS SUCH AS DOCTORS, ENGINEERS, ACCOUNTANTS,
PROJECT DIRECTORS, ETC? IF SO, HOW? WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF
COURTING PROFESSIONALS? WHO IS DIRECTING THIS APPROACH? ARE
THESE ACTIVITIES COORDINATED FROM THE CHURCH HIERARCHY, OR
DESIGNED INDEPENDENTLY BY PARISHES?

(C/NF) POST RESPONSE: We do not see evidence of such
targeted proselytizing. The church hierarchy, from the
Cardinal on down to parish priests, complains that emigration
decimates the ranks of the laity and that they have to engage
in constant recruitment merely to replace those laity who
emigrate. We have no reason to believe that those efforts
target professionals in particular.

3. (C/NF) QUESTION B: ARE CHURCH MEMBERS RUNNING
PROFESSIONAL TRAINING CLASSES? IF SO, WHAT TYPE OF TRAINING
ARE PARISHES PROVIDING (I.E. FOREIGN LANGUAGES, CRITICAL
THINKING, BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND DELEGATION, WESTERN
PHILOSOPHY, WESTERN POLITICAL THOUGHT, PUBLIC SPEAKING, ETC.)?

(C/NF) POST RESPONSE: We have seen several examples of
parishes and at least one convent that provide training in
computers and foreign languages. (Note:
denominations have similar activities. End Note.)
XXXXXXXXXXXX also tells us he does some training at his parish in
Santiago de Cuba. Computer training is the most common. The
San Juan de Letran church in Vedado has a monthly lecture
series on theological issues that attracts 100 or more,
mainly university-age, participants. The Mission to the
Order of Malta provides equipment (projector, video camera,
etc.) for some workshops promoting spiritual cinema.
Otherwise, we are not familiar with churches that run the
type of courses mentioned in reftel.

4. (C/NF) QUESTION C: ARE LOWER-LEVEL CUBAN CLERGY AND LAY
PEOPLE PROVIDING TRAINING AND/OR CONDUCTING ACTIVITIES NOT
APPROVED BY THE HIERARCHY? HOW ARE THESE PEOPLE IDENTIFIED?
THROUGH CHURCH ACTIVITIES? FROM SCHOOLS? ARE INDIVIDUALS
WITHOUT PREVIOUS ENTREPRENEURIAL OR POLITICAL SKILLS BEING
TRAINED? HOW LONG HAVE THESE ACTIVITIES BEEN TAKING PLACE?

(C/NF) POST RESPONSE: The classes of which we are aware are
offered to all parishioners on a first-come, first-served
basis. These are mostly modest efforts. These programs go
back at least several years. Our experience with contacts is
that these programs are known to the Church hierarchy and
that in many cases the hierarchy provides "cover" for such
activities with the relevant Government of Cuba (GOC)
authorities.

5. (C/NF) QUESTION D: DOES ANY EVIDENCE EXIST TO SUGGEST
THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS SEEKING TO MEDIATE A DIALOGUE IN
CUBA'S CURRENT POLITICAL CONTEXT BETWEEN INDEPENDENT CIVIL
SOCIETY AND STATE-ASSOCIATED INTELLECTUALS BY "HOSTING"
INTERVIEWS WITH THE LATTER GROUP IN CHURCH PUBLICATIONS--SUCH
AS THE HAVANA ARCHDIOCESAN MAGAZINE ESPACIO LAICAL (E.G. THE
2009 ISSUE NUMBER ONE ARTICLES INVOLVING ECONOMIST OMAR
EVERLENY PEREZ AND POLITICAL SCIENTIST CARLOS ALZUGARAY)?

(C/NF) POST RESPONSE: We've seen articles as described in
reftel in both Espacio Laical and in Palabra Nueva, which
recently ran a two-part series that essentially was a
point/counterpoint between Orlando Marquez of Palabra Nueva
and Rafael Hernandez, the editor of Temas. Post believes
these articles are oriented toward creating space and
legitimacy for the Catholic Church as a legitimate
interlocutor in Cuban societal issues and are not aimed at
fostering a broader debate between GOC-affiliated
intellectuals and broader civil society. In fact, we have
not seen any evidence that the Catholic Church is
specifically reaching out to independent civil society in
Cuba.

--------
Comments
--------


6. (C/NF) The Catholic Church is slowly increasing the scope
of the activities it is willing and able to conduct in Cuba.
The relief work of Caritas and various parishes after the
2008 hurricanes has earned the Church some additional street
credibility. Some parishes also offer soup kitchens,
medicines, and some form of parochial education for children,
all of which are at risk since they technically compete with
the Cuban Government's desire for complete control over the
provision of social services. The Church goes to great
lengths to keep a low profile and stay out of any public
discussions that may be deemed political, or certainly
counter-revolutionary. For years, the Church has worked to
distance itself from well-known opposition figures who are
also devout Catholics such as Oswaldo Paya and Dagoberto
Valdes. As such, any activities the Church may be carrying
out to prepare for a post-Castro Cuba are not being shared
either from the pulpit or in our private discussions with
Church officials.
FARRAR

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