|Written by Ronald León|
|Wednesday, 25 April 2012 03:11|
Pope BenedictXVI has visited Mexico and Cuba for the first time, as the head of the Catholic Church. This visit which carries out a huge load of political objectives has nothing to do with a mere pastoral visit as the Vatican and the governments of these countries have falsely claimed.
It could not be different, much less when the Pope is Joseph Ratzinger, former head of modern inquisition, which is distinguished by its extreme right positions, misogynist and pro-imperialist.
While in Mexico, the Pope visit has coincided with the elections approach which willbe held next July 1, demonstrating the clear support of the Catholic leader to President Felipe Calderon (to whom the Pope spoke privately) and therefore, to Josefina Vázquez Mota, the official candidate of the National Action Party.
On the otherhand, the time of Joseph Ratzinger’s visit happens when the Mexican Senate debates a constitutional amendment that affects the secularism of the State and when the Catholic Church intends to deepen the religious teaching in public schools, to guarantee the church property of the mass media and open a larger space for the interference of priests in public affairs.
The Pope’s visitalso happened in the midst of protests staged by victims of sexual abuse committed by the founder of the Legion of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel. The protesters have not been received by Ratzinger. Indeed it was nothing casual once in 1999, it was the current Pope Benedict XVI who opposed to the investigation of these same complaints.
Praisein the context of an agreement
Ratzinger’s currentvisit to Cuba is not accidental, nor was the visit carried out by his predecessor, John Paul II in 1998. His mission, far beyond being clerical and religious has clear earthly objectives, defined by the interests of imperialism.
14 years, when traveling to Havana, Karol Wojtyla was interviewed in his official plane. When asked for a definition of the Christian revolution and the Marxist-Leninist Revolution, the Catholic Pontiff said the earlier meantthe “revolution of love” while the latter, “unlike” the first, was “the revolution of the hate, of the revenge, of the victims”.
On March 19, also on a plane, Benedict XVI weighed in on Marxism saying: “It is clear that the Marxist ideology, in the way it was conceived, no longer corresponds to reality.” He emphasized that “Communism does not work” and arguing that “if it is not possible to build a certain type of society, then it is necessary to find new models,” offered the Church “help” so that there is “a spirit of dialogue that avoids traumas and serve to advance the society [Cuban] “(El Pais). And to think, however, there are those who still believe that the Pope’s “pastoral visits” are “apolitical.”
TheCuban dictatorship, on one side, did not skimp on praise nor hid its joy at “His Holiness” visit of. Shortly before the Pope’s arrival, when Raul Castro gave him a “warm welcome” sayingthat “Cuba was receiving him with affection and respect and that Cuba feels honored with his presence” (Granma digital). Meanwhile Bruno Rodríguez, Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated in a news conference that “relations between the Holy See and Cuba had an uninterrupted development and they are very favorable”. He also highlighted the similarities between the Cuban state and the Catholic Church, saying:
“The Holy See has taken positions with which Cuba shares,particularly, in the pursuit of the solidarity globalization, and the exercise of human rights for all human beings as well as in the fight against poverty, against exclusion, in search of a democratic and equitable international order. In particular, the Cuban government shares with the Holy See their traditional positions in defense of peace, in opposition to the war, facing the threat of war. In the preservation of mankind against the existence of huge arsenals of nuclear weapons or climate change that endangers the survival of humanity “(Digital Granma, published on 03.24.2012).
Manyleft-wing activists, honestly, have questioned how does it come, the Castro brothers, supporters of what would be the last stronghold of socialism, receive with such honors the utmost exponent of the dominant classes’ most counterrevolutionary institution.
Quite rightly, many wonder how, for the Castro brothers, the Catholic Church has now become an institution which advocates the peace for the world, solidarity, human rights and which fights against poverty in the context of seeking a “democratic and equitable international order “. Likewise, many of those fighting socialists must be perplexed to see how, in face ofthe Pope’s attacks againstMarxism-Leninismthe Castros respond by praising him and compulsively call people to attend his preaching.
Who has changed?Was it the Catholic Church or the Castro direction? For us, the change occurred toward Castro direction, which leads the capitalism restoration process on the island and because of it, needs to make a deal with imperialism, including sinister characters such as Bento XVI. The goal is to advance towards the full insertion of the new capitalist Cuba on the world market. No matter how difficult it is, we must see that there is a counterrevolutionary agreement between the Pope and the Castro direction, aimed at increasing the role of Cuba as a semi-colony of the world imperialism, conveying the message that the doors of Cuba have long been opened to the imperialist capital.
Togetherin the repression againstthe dissidents
Expression of this agreement were the repression of the Castro’s repressive regime and the Catholic hierarchy of the island against the demonstrations demanding democratic freedoms, a movement that existed before the Pope’svisit.
On March 14, a group of dissidents who wanted to deliver a letter to the Pope asking him to press in favor of democratic rights (freedom forpolitical prisoners, freedom for travelling and access to information), occupied the church OurLady of Charity and Havana. In response, the very Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega called the police to evict the 13 dissidents who were inside the above mentioned church.
The Catholic Churchin Cuba described this movement as “illegitimate and irresponsible.” The statement from the Archdiocese of Havana said that “this is a strategy coordinated and planned by groups in different regions of the country. It was organized, apparently, to create critical situations before the visit of Pope Benedict XVI “(State Agency – Agencia Estado).
Similarly, the Minister Rodríguez expressed: “Anyone wishing to hinder this apostolic visit by way of political manipulations will fail (…) because His Holiness will find in Cuba a people (…) who will listen to His Holiness with deep respect and civility” (Granma digital).
Monday, March 26, on the arrival of Benedict XVI, dissident groups denounced the “preventive” arrest of at least 150 political opponents, of which 15 were part of “The Ladies in White”  (AFP). The Pope made anotherannouncement, nothing casual, stating that he did not expect to meet any dissident group while in Cuba.
This mutual harmony between the Vatican and the Castro brothers’ dictatorship is related, as we noted previously, to the need that the Cuban government has to show itself to the world as completely opened and assimilated into the rules of the capitalist world economy. The Castro dictatorship intends to validate their measurements in order to show to be reliable and submissive to the imperialist world order. Therefore they kneel to kiss the ring of the Pope and former Inquisitor – a member of the Hitler Youth
The backgroundis the restoration
The issue to be highlighted is that Cuba wanted to be a bureaucratized workers’ state in order to, as from the nineties of last century, to become a capitalist state with a dictatorial political regime.
Toget out of that crisis, far from advancing towardsboosting the international revolution, all the Stalinist bureaucracies, including Castro’s direction headed by Fidel Castro, have implemented a policy of dismantling the workers’ state essential foundations.
Thus, during the nineties of last century, the process went from quantitative to qualitative changes. With a number of measures, they destroyed the pillars of the state workers’ state namely the state ownership of the major means of production, the economic plan centralized by the state and the foreign trade monopoly. It was so that Cuba restored the capitalism, under Castro’s own leadership, organizing its economy around the capitalist law of value and the pursuit of private profit by putting the country’s resources and strategic sectors to the service of imperialist exploitation.
In the contextof the restored capitalist system, Raul Castro advances currently towardsthe approval and enforcement (as in any other capitalist country) of a tough adjustment plan which intends that the working class pay for the world economic crisis caused by the rich capitalists.
This plan, as it is known and approved by the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, plans to lay off 500,000 state workers (10% of the workforce in the country). Further measures are related to the closure of the popular restaurants that distribute subsidized food and the end of the reserve for the delivery of basic food products, a very important component of the basic food basket of the poorest family. In this regard, there is also the announcement that public education and public health care are no longer universally free and also the continuous attack on the wages value, already extremely low, ranging between a majority who earn the equivalent of US$10 or U$15 monthly until a minority who earn 35 or 40.
Thepurpose of the visit of the Pope is no other but to point out this adjustment plan driven by the Castro dictatorship, which, at the same time, needs to rely on the authority of the counterrevolutionary Catholic Church to be willingly accepted in the concert of nations.
And so, praising the policies of the Castro brothers, the head of the Catholic Church pointed out that Cuba “is already looking to tomorrow”. Having said that, the Pope went further and called on Cubans “ to fight for building an open and renewed society, a better society more worthy for humanity “. (Clarín).
Raul Castro, on his part, with his welcoming words assured that the country will “continue changing everything which has to be changed.”
The Cuban cardinal himself confirms in many ways the capitalist restoration, when talking about the differences between the Cuba of decades ago and the Cuba which now receives Benedict XVI: “There are new structures in the Government, there was a presidential shift four years ago with new ministers and officials. A major economic reform was initiated regarding to the land cultivating, the housing building, the credit, the buying and selling of houses and cars, the creation of small private companies … “(El Pais).
In the contextof this new Cuba, the Catholic Church is moving forward to gain more room, based on what it has already achieved and still allows it to build a new seminary and convey the most important church services through national television. Gone are the years where the Cuban workers’ state claimed to be atheist. The reality, though it is hard to accept, is a completely different one.
The central task
From the IWL we repudiate the counterrevolutionary agreement between Ratzinger, cassock agent of imperialism, and the Castro direction. Likewise we reject any economic hunger policy which helps the increasing penetration of European and North American imperialist capital that drives the Castro dictatorship relying on the brutal repression and lack of democratic freedoms for the working class on the island.
There is notask more important in Cuba than fighting against such measuresand against the capitalist dictatorship that implement them, measures that the Pope strengthen poisoning the population with the well known message of Christian passivity and resignation.
In Cuba, the glorious cradle of the first workers’ state in Latin America is placed the need for a new anti-capitalist and socialist revolution, stemming from the seizure of power by the working class. The just struggle for democratic freedoms (freedom of information, expression, organization and manifestation etc..), must serve the strategic combat in order to build a workers’ state based on the dictatorship of the proletariat revolutionary regime, which will only be possible at the destruction of current Cuban capitalist state and the regime of Castro.
Groupof women, wives, mothers and other relatives of political prisoners, political dissidents to the Cuban government.