Tags: EU | REL | Vatican | Cuba | US

Vatican Eyes End of Embargo after US-Cuba Thaw

Thursday, 17 September 2015 01:46 PM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is hoping the recent restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba will soon translate into an end of the U.S. economic embargo on the island.

On the eve of Pope Francis' trip to the onetime Cold War foes, the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, recalled Thursday that the Vatican has long called for an end to sanctions, saying they hurt ordinary Cubans most. In an interview with Vatican TV, Parolin said there is optimism now as a result of the rapprochement.

"As the bishops have said, there is hope that measures of this type — a liberalization of links and above all at an economic level — can bring about also a major opening from the point of view of freedom and human rights that are fundamental for the life of the people," Parolin said.

Parolin also acknowledged criticism in the U.S. to Francis' economic and environmental message. He said he believed Francis would invite all Americans to reflect on necessary changes to humanity's relationship with creation.

"I think it's right to realize that things aren't going in the right direction and that a path to solutions must be found. I think the pope will invite this: One can offer a contribution, but change is necessary."

Francis leaves Saturday for a 10-day trip, spending the first four days in Cuba and the final leg in the U.S. cities of Washington, New York and Philadelphia.

Parolin concurred that Francis will be visiting the U.S. as an immigrant — temporarily from Cuba — and that migration will be "surely among the most important themes" of the visit.

Francis has denounced the "globalization of indifference" the world is showing migrants and has urged all Catholic parishes and religious orders to take in a refugee family; the Vatican itself is hosting two.

Parolin recalled the United States itself was founded by immigrants and has a "long history of opening, of welcome, and of integration of the various waves of immigrants who arrived."

"I think this could constitute a social and cultural base to confront the daily challenges of immigration today, and resolve cases that are painfully open," he said.

Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfield

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Europe
The Vatican is hoping the recent restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba will soon translate into an end of the U.S. economic embargo on the island.On the eve of Pope Francis' trip to the onetime Cold War foes, the Vatican secretary of state,...
EU,REL,Vatican,Cuba,US
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2015-46-17
Thursday, 17 September 2015 01:46 PM
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