Banishment is -- literally -- a punishment of Biblical proportions.
"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." Genesis 3:22-24
Surely, the Catholic Church is aware of this.
But just in case -- 165 Cuban dissidents have sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI expressing their concern over the Catholic Church's complicity in the banishment of political prisoners and the marginalization of the island's pro-democracy movement.
The letter states:
"We disagree with the stance taken by the Cuban ecclesiastical hierarchy in its intervention over the political prisoners. It is lamentable and, in fact, embarrassing... A correct mediation on this issue would have implied listening to the grievances on all sides and conciliating them. However, the solution of forced exile -- accepted by those who have been unjustly imprisoned for seven years solely for their ideas -- only benefits the dictatorship."
Furthermore, they poignantly warn:
"The repression, harassment and arbitrary detentions has intensified recently, pursuant to the threats [against dissidents] made by Raul Castro on August 1st. You should ask yourselves: Are they emptying the prisons only to refill them?"
Which leads to an important question on everyone's mind regarding the Catholic Church's negotiated "release" of 52 political prisoners (of which none have been released in Cuba, while 26 have been banished to Spain):
Why hasn't the regime released any of the political prisoners that have refused to be banished?
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- Wrong Time For Cuba Policy Changes
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- Urgent Action on New Arrests
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- Castro's Eight New Political Prisoners
- From The State Department
- The Light of Orlando Zapata Tamayo
- C3: Chavez, Cuba and Crime
- Regime Resorts to Sexual Sadism
- Senator Feingold Doesn't Get It
- A Popular Letter (or Unpopular Church)
- Richardson Returns to Rescue Castro
- Banishment is a Biblical Punishment
- The Resolve of Ariel Sigler
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