Two interesting observations from today's extensive interview with Pope Francis upon his return from a trip to South America.
First, when asked about human rights in Cuba -- he punts.
He gave the same type of deflection that the Castro regime -- and its apologists -- like to give.
Thus, so much for profiles in courage. No wonder Castro is welcoming him with open arms.
Here is Pope Francis' reply to the issue of human rights in Cuba:
"Human rights are for everyone. And human rights are not respected not only in one or two countries. I would say that in many countries of the world human rights are not respected. Many countries in the world .. and what will Cuba lose or the U.S. lose? Both will gain something and lose something, because this happens in negotiations. Both will gain, this is sure: peace, meetings, friendship, collaboration. These they will gain … but what will they lose, I cannot imagine. They may be concrete things. But in negotiations one always [both] wins and loses. But returning to human rights, and religious freedom. Just think of the world. There are some countries and also some European countries where you cannot make a sign of religion, for different reasons, and on other continents the same. Yes. Religious liberty is not present in all the world, there are many place that do not have it."
Yet ironically, yesterday in Paraguay, Pope Francis minced no words in criticizing that country's democratically-elected leaders:
"For some years now, Paraguay has sought to build a solid and stable democracy. It is proper to recognize with satisfaction progress made in this direction. But it must banish the temptation to be satisfied with a purely formal democracy based on the promotion of and respect for human rights."
Coddle dictators, but be tough with democracies. Sound familiar?
Then, Pope Francis reveals the "truth" about his role in the Obama-Castro deal.
On December 17th, in announcing his deal with Cuban dictator Raul Castro, Obama told the nation:
"His Holiness Pope Francis issued a personal appeal to me, and to Cuba’s President Raul Castro, urging us to resolve Alan’s case, and to address Cuba’s interest in the release of three Cuban agents who have been jailed in the United States for over 15 years."
Here's Pope Francis' version of his role:
"The process between Cuba and the United States was not a mediation. No, no, no, it did not have the character of a mediation. There was a desire that had arrived, then on the other side also a desire. And then – and in this I’m telling the truth – there passed – this was in January of last year – three months went by, and I only prayed over this. I didn’t decide to do anything, what could I do with these two who have been going on like this for more than 50 years. Then the Lord made me think of a cardinal, and he went there and talked. Then I didn’t know anything; months went by. One day the secretary of state, who is here, told me, 'Tomorrow we will have the second meeting with the two teams.' How’s that? 'Yes, yes, they are talking, between the two groups they are all talking, they are making ' It went by itself. It was not a mediation. It was the goodwill of the two countries, and the merit is theirs, the merit is theirs for doing this. We did hardly anything, only small things. And in December, mid-December, it was announced. This is the story, truly, there is no more to it."
Note how many times Pope Francis refers to the concept of "truth."
It's abundantly clear that Obama was using the Pope for theatrics -- and as a political buffer -- in a deal he'd long preconceived, pursued and contrived.
The rest was Ben Rhodes' creative writing.
at 5:22 PM Monday, July 13, 2015
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