AMERICA/CUBA - The religious of Camaguey denounce: "people are tired and stressed, they cannot take it any longer, it is an unsustainable situation"

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Camaguey (Agenzia Fides) - "We turn to you with respect and concern to portray the painful situations that we experience as a people ... We listen carefully to the people and with our pastoral work we want to help and accompany them and this makes us witnesses of their pain and their needs". With these words the "Letter of consecrated life in Camaguey to the provincial authorities" begins, in which the religious of the Cuban Archdiocese ask the competent authorities for measures to alleviate the suffering of the population. The problems they list include: inadequate wages and rising food prices; Shortcomings in health care and medicine; The price of public services such as water, electricity, telephone, gas and garbage collection, have increased tremendously; Increase in domestic violence, etc …"The vast majority of people do not have the courage to express their opinion freely… let alone to turn to the authorities with their own demands…. There is fear of exclusion. Both fear and lack of trust and freedom are not unfounded as we have all seen various peaceful initiatives by individuals and groups condemned and denigrated by the official media... ", complain the religious, who point out that "these situations are becoming more and more difficult, people are tired and stressed, we believe that they cannot bear all of this for much longer ...The population wants viable alternatives that guide the country towards development and social well-being". Faced with this situation, the religious of Camaguey are asking the authorities to provide price guarantees for food; make the liberation of the productive forces of the country, both state and non-state, effective and real, eliminating obstacles and stimulating the production of self-employed workers; facilitate all citizens who want to carry out an economic activity for their own good and that of the community; re-define the costs of public services; ensure that medicines, medical and health supplies are available to the population, also accepting humanitarian aid stopped at customs; making social assistance to the most vulnerable people effective. They also demand more opportunities for freedom of expression and respect for "integrity and human dignity". At the same time, it is necessary to "create spaces for an equal dialogue between the state and the various social actors in order to look for alternatives together in negotiations and together to advance our country, which is in a critical situation". In the conclusion of the letter, they highlight that "with political will, dialogue and participation of all sectors of society, it is possible to build a Cuba with greater possibilities of offering its sons and daughters a more dignified and prosperous life". "We men and women religious are here to accompany our people in their sorrows and hopes and to raise our voices ... and to get involved socially". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 4/5/2021)