By RF Schatten
"When the Pope goes to Cuba in September, I promise to go to all his Masses, and with 'satisfaction'! I read all the speeches of the Pope, his commentaries, and if the Pope continues this way, I will go back to praying, and go back to the Church, and I'm not joking." ~~~ Raul Castro
Some will say, re-opening of the Catholic Church in Cuba, is only a Political ploy by Raul Castro...and if it is? does it really matter??...the fact that he plans to re-open the Church with the blessing of the Cuban Communist Party, is a giant victory for "Religious Freedom"...anyway you cut it!! Another win for Pope Francis, less than a few months after intervening in US/Cuban Relations.
It's a whole new world out there! China is now a Socialist Society sustained by a Capitalist Economy. We're living in an era...whether you like it or not...where "Civility" has arrived between the Capitalist World and Socialist Societies. We don't necessarily have to agree...just respectfully agree to disagree! There is a hell of a lot more problems in the world today, than who's Capitalist and who's Socialist!
It was very intriguing though, it was Raul who made the overture!...even as a young man, Raul was more a hardliner admirer. Some say Marxism, and many others say Maoism. Fidel, on the other hand, was never trusted during his college years, and even during the Revolution! Not until a few weeks or months before Batista flew, did the Cuban Communist Party, give its approval and financial support. Whether it was Raul's influence or Che Guevara's? Che's devout understanding of true Marxism and Marxist Revolutions, even a non-Cuban was respected by the Cuban Communists, and Raul has been a member since college. Fidel? I have my thoughts...but, that's for another time.
To fully understand and appreciate all these crazy events in International Cuban Affairs, you really have to understand a little Cuban History and its Political turbulence until January 1st, 1959...and the early days that influenced the Brothers Castro.
2 rich kids, whose father was a very influential Sugar Plantation Owner, and raised in a Catholic upbringing...sent to Catholic Schools for a better education, since their parents were illiterate. To Angel Castro y Agriz, coming as a migrant from Spain and becoming one of the richest men in Cuba, was not as important than a good education and the ability to read and write. Catholic Boarding Schools; first LaSalle Boarding School, run by Lasallian Brothers and 'that' wasn't too good of an idea, with Fidel always getting in trouble...either he got expelled or Dad was forced to taking him out. Then came Dolores Boarding School, run by Jesuits...and Fidel's mind truly began to evolve, Raul at that point on, started going to the same schools with his Brothers (oldest brother Ramon, was also there). He did so good, his dad sent him and Raul to El Colegio de Belén in Havana, the top Jesuit School in the Country and excelling academically and athletically...being selected best juvenile school athlete in Cuba in 1944, and from there...some big academic years in College and Law School. The Jesuit Order is as responsible as any other thing in their lives in forming both Fidel's and Raul's mind.
College for Fidel and Raul:
Understanding those days in Cuban Politics you must take into account the that to win elections, and especially Presidential Elections...you had to have the support of two factions in the Country; the Military and the University Students. At the University of Havana, they took their Politics, serious...as filthy as Cuban Political Parties were, their representatives in college were pretty bad...the culture of "Gansterismo" at the University since the 30s, including assassinations everywhere, your ally today is your enemy tomorrow. Raul Castro aligned himself with the Cuban Communist Party...Fidel with the Ortodoxo (Orthodox Party) and its charismatic populist leader Eduardo (Eddy) Chibás. Then in 1951, depressed by his failure in his own Party to beat Carlos Prio-Socarras, the eventual winner...as an act to lift the masses into a rebellion...Chibás shot himself while addressing a nation on a National Radio broadcast! His death, was the turning point for Fidel Castro as a man, and his eventual 26th of July attack on the Moncada Army Barracks.
How human events formulate the future...if Chibás would've succeeded instead of the corrupt Cocaine Snorting Prio-Socarras, Batista might not have been able to form a coup against the popular Chibás as he did against Prio-Socarras...and Castro might not have had to commit his attack on the Batista Army Baracks. He would've probably remained a Lawyer, Cuba and Communism would not be talked in the same breath and maybe even a professional major league baseball player if the Washington Senators, didn't cut him in favor of another Pitcher!
Would Fidel and Raul have become less or more Religious if things would've gone in a different direction back in 1951? We'll never know...the past is the past, it's gone! and who gives a hoot? we can never go back in time! It's the future what counts...and the future can't look any rosier, and for at least one Castro; a religious awakening. Must've been that Jesuit upbringing...and the wise words of Pope Frank!!
Castro: Pope Francis so impressive I might return to church - Yahoo News