Saturday, April 26, 2003

Pope condemns Cuban executions

Pope John Paul II has added his voice to international condemnations of Cuba's crackdown on dissidents, including the execution of three hijackers. In a letter to Cuban President Fidel Castro, released by the Vatican, the pontiff expressed his "deep pain" at the executions, and appealed for clemency for 75 imprisoned dissidents. ....

...The pope's appeal was dated 13 April, but released only on Saturday by the Vatican, through its secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano. The message asked President Castro for "a significant gesture of clemency toward those convicted". "I am sure that you share also share with me the conviction that only a sincere and constructive confrontation between the citizens and the civil authorities can guarantee the promotion of a modern and democratic Cuba," the pope said.