The Cuban Knot

The Vatican’s Strategy in Havana
December 30, 2014
Victor Gaetan

The United States and Cuba could not have restored diplomatic ties without the Catholic Church. But the church could be the negotiations’ biggest loser: many Catholics resent its intervention.

The restoration of U.S.-Cuban diplomatic ties in mid-December demonstrated the geopolitical relevance of religious institutions. The deal would not have happened without the Catholic Church and Jewish organizations. Jewish groups made Alan Gross, the prisoner at the heart of the reversal, impossible to ignore; and then the Catholic hierarchy provided the trust required to move the negotiations beyond stalemate. U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro will surely benefit from the thaw in different ways, but anti-Castro Catholics resent the Church’s involvement.

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