Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

Pope seeks release of Cubans arrested during 2021 protests

Pope Francis has reportedly said that he hopes Cuban authorities will release and grant amnesty to people arrested and sentenced after the historic protests that took place in 2021.

On Wednesday, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, who travelled to the island as the pontiff’s special envoy, said Pope Francis made that disclosure during talks between them.

Cardinal Stella also said the Catholic Church hopes that Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and US President Joe Biden can hold talks amid current tense relations between the countries.

Stella said he also held discussions with the pontiff about the issue of having the Catholic Church interceding to have Cuban authorities grant amnesty to people imprisoned during the 2021 protest.

“The Church wants, seeks, has manifested this proposal (amnesty),” said Stella. “I think the issue is on the table… The Pope very much wants there to be a positive response, whether it is called amnesty, clemency, the words can be secondary, but it is important that the young people who at one point expressed their thoughts… they can go back to their homes,” he said

Over 1000 people were arrested following the protests and some of the demonstrations turned violent, including looting and rioting, and one person was killed.

“Authorities reported about 700 sentences handed down related to the protests, with sentences ranging from a fine and community work to up to 30 years in prison for sedition.

The protests took place amid a severe economic crisis, shortages and blackouts.


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