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Human Rights

Cuban priest calls for urgent change and transition in the Island

As a clear example of the economic, social and political crisis in the country, the Camagüey parish priest, Alberto Reyes, lamented the massive exodus of Cubans in the last two years

Crisis en Cuba
Sacerdote cubano Alberto Reyes Pías, de la diócesis de la provincia de Camagüey | Shutterstock y Facebook

April 19, 2023 8:54am

Updated: April 19, 2023 9:05am

Cuban priest Alberto Reyes Pías, from the diocese of the province of Camagüey, recently declared that the island "needs a change, it needs a transition" and that he sees the Catholic Church as the only institution in a position to lead the process.

"This country needs a change, it needs a transition, it needs to live and stop dragging its existence, and at this moment, in my opinion, only the Catholic Church is in a position to lead a dialogue and propose a transition," said Reyes Pías in an interview with the newspaper El Debate.

According to the priest, the regime's repression of the people never ceases, and the authorities have demonstrated "their inability to build a society that is not only prosperous, but capable of responding to the most basic aspirations of the human being."

"The island has become the focus of international news, which is why the Castro authorities are trying to prevent more images from being released abroad of a fed up, poor and hungry citizenry that is crying out for the end of communism and the arrival of freedom," he added.

As a clear example of the country's economic, social and political crisis, the Camagüey parish priest lamented the massive exodus of Cubans in the last two years.

"Since 1959 we have been an island on the run, where more and more people see emigration as the only possible solution, and we helplessly witness the progressive absence of those with whom we have grown up and feel that there is no room for hope here. When we hear over and over again that there is no one to change this, hope breaks in our souls."

Reyes Pías described in his statements the nature of the regime in Havana. "Now there is no turning back, because now we have seen the true face of those who for years spoke to us day by day and tirelessly about how much they loved us and wanted our well-being. Now we know that everything was a lie, and that their hands nor their voices tremble when it comes to proclaiming destruction and death, and inciting the war of brother against brother in a fight whose wounds may never heal."

Alberto Reyes Pías is one of the most active Cuban religious leaders in his criticism of the Castro government. Every time he has the opportunity, he speaks on social networks about the liberation of the country and the end of the dictatorship.

At the beginning of last January, the father lamented that the year 2023 began with prisons full of political prisoners, with a considerable increase in violence in the streets and with "a country on the run."

"My hope that this will be a better year for our people, because the present is gloomy and, from a merely human point of view, in the immediate future of Cuba there is no light," he said then.