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    NewsLatin AmericaVatican envoy says that amnesty for prisoners in Cuba is "on the table"

    Vatican envoy says that amnesty for prisoners in Cuba is “on the table”

    Cardinal Beniamino Stella, Pope Francis’ special envoy, said Wednesday in Havana that a potential amnesty for Cuban prisoners is “on the table.” jailed after an anti-government protest in July 2021although the answer did not depend on the Catholic Church.

    Stella told reporters that the Vatican had commented to the island’s authorities on the issue of a possible amnesty and “without a doubt, the Church that it is, seeks, (and) has stated it on several occasions for this purpose.”

    “Obviously it has been a topic of our conversations. The issue is there on the table, but the answer does not depend on Cardinal Stella,” the Vatican diplomat said after a speech delivered at the University of Havana.

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    Stella’s comments come as Cuba faces strong criticism from US and European Union human rights groups after the jailing of hundreds of protesters following riots that broke out on the island on July 11, 2021, the largest protest in the streets since the 1959 revolution led by former president Fidel Castro.

    “I ask a lot (…) that there be a positive response, whatever it is called, amnesty, clemency, whatever it is called. Words can also be secondary, but it is important that the young people who at one point have expressed their thoughts and have done in the way we know they can return to their homes,” he said.

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    Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who was present in the university auditorium during Stella’s conference, has previously defended the role of domestic courts in upholding the law of the land at a time when the riots occurred in 2021.

    Authorities in Cuba maintain that those arrested are guilty of various crimes including public disorder, resisting arrest, robbery and vandalism, among others.

    Havana did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the statements by Stella, who came to the island to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s pastoral trip to Cuba.

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    The Vatican played a key role in mediating the historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States. In 2016 under former President Barack Obama, a series of events occurred as part of the bilateral thaw.

    In September 2015, just before the announcement of the renewal of ties, Cuba pardoned 3,522 common prisoners in what it described as a humanitarian gesture before a previous visit by Pope Francis, repeating similar actions it took before two trips by previous Popes. to the Caribbean island.

    Source: VOA Español


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