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Response to Mika (Original post)

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 07:36 PM

2. The spirit is willing: Papal role in Cuba thaw started with John Paul II

The spirit is willing: Papal role in Cuba thaw started with John Paul II
by Tony Karon -
Dec
17
4:25 PM



Pope John Paul II traveled to
Fidel Castro's Cuba in 1998.
Jose Goitia / AP

U.S. officials have reportedly acknowledged that Pope Francis played a significant role in nudging President Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro toward the rapprochement signaled by Wednesday’s prisoner release and White House policy announcement.

But the Vatican’s role in promoting a U.S.-Cuba thaw is not a new innovation by a pontiff whose political inclinations are clearly more progressive than his predecessors — and closer to the more left-of-center consensus in his native continent of Latin America.

Obama’s announcement, after all, acknowledged that the U.S. had finally acknowledged the failure of an embargo long decried — and ignored — by the vast majority of the international community. At this year’s version of the annual U.N. General Assembly vote on the Cuba embargo, 188 of the 193 member states voted to strike it down; only the U.S. and Israel voted no.

“We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries,” Obama vowed Wednesday, promising “a new chapter among the nations of the Americas”.

More:
http://america.aljazeera.com/blogs/scrutineer/2014/12/17/pope-cuba-thaw.html

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