Francis Copies Obama’s Cuba Mistake

This is a week when Americans will celebrate Pope Francis, and no one in any of the cities that he will visit appears to be holding back in their preparations to turn his arrival into a big party for the pontiff. Republicans and Democrats will hope to make hay from associating some of their issues with his advocacy (abortion versus climate change and income inequality), but the bottom line is about the goodwill and the message of hope this much-respected man of faith will spread wherever he goes. But amid the justified hoopla, there is at least one point on which those who admire the pope have reason to be disappointed. In his visit to Cuba this week before coming to the United States, the Pope did not insist on meeting any dissidents. The one opportunity for a brief greeting from the Pope to members of the Ladies in White, a courageous group of relatives of jailed dissidents was prevented by their address by Cuban authorities. This is deeply unfortunate. If, like the Obama administration, the Vatican is so determined to push forward with détente with one of the last vestiges of Communist tyranny on the planet that it is willing to sacrifice dissidents, the Pope is squandering an opportunity to rally the Cuban people to the cause of freedom and to undermine the tyrants that oppress them.

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Francis Copies Obama’s Cuba Mistake

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