Pope comments on US Trade Embargo

During the Pope’s recent visit to Cuba, he commented on the United States 50 year long trade embargo on the country. He stated that the “restrictive economic measures” were an “unfair burden”. However, I believe his comments to be extremely rude and biased.

First off, the United States fights for religious freedom around the world and has done so ever since the beginning of our nation. We are the brightest beacon for hope and freedom that the world has ever seen and our country has done more in its short history to expand religious freedom than any other civilization in human history. It is our goal as the worlds strongest country to ensure that people from all corners of the earth can enjoy the freedoms we have here at home.

For the United States to economically support a communist nation that imposes strict and unfair rules on its people would be extremely contradictory to our fundamental truths. It does not make sense for us to openly trade with a communist regime and for the Pope to call our practices “unfair” is offensive. Millions of Americans have died (Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWII, Vietnam War etc.) to ensure that every single human being can live a free and prosperous life with certain God given rights.

Communism is not a friend of Catholicism and for the Pope to suggest such is not reflective of the message that God has taught us. The United States imposes a strict embargo on Cuba because it illustrates our complete separation from Communist ideals.

It’s time for the Vatican to stand up alongside America and send a clear message to Cuba and other communist countries and express our collective disapproval of their unfair practices.

Well, the trade embargo has hurt the people of the country. It has done nothing to end the communist regime. US trade with China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of abject poverty and while the Communist Party is still firmly in control, the individual has become more economically independent and has to a greater extent been able to assert himself and his freedoms.

First off, the United States fights for religious freedom around the world and has done so ever since the beginning of our nation. We are the brightest beacon for hope and freedom that the world has ever seen and our country has done more in its short history to expand religious freedom than any other civilization in human history. It is our goal as the worlds strongest country to ensure that people from all corners of the earth can enjoy the freedoms we have here at home.

The US has indeed been a force for good in many cases, though the American idea of freedom, which has never had much more than perhaps a vague, implicit foundation in moral law, if that, has increasingly included the freedom to choose abortion and the freedom for two people of the same sex to marry and is gradually becoming distorted further and further away from Catholic truth.

For the United States to economically support a communist nation that imposes strict and unfair rules on its people would be extremely contradictory to our fundamental truths.

There’s no such thing as “our truth” or “your truth.” There’s only Truth. Lifting a trade embargo is not equivalent to economic support. Giving aid would be support. Of course, the US occasionally provides aid to North Korea, so…

It does not make sense for us to openly trade with a communist regime and for the Pope to call our practices “unfair” is offensive. Millions of Americans have died (Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWII, Vietnam War etc.) to ensure that every single human being can live a free and prosperous life with certain God given rights.

Well, Americans have been happily trading with the People’s Republic of China for decades.

Communism is not a friend of Catholicism and for the Pope to suggest such is not reflective of the message that God has taught us. The United States imposes a strict embargo on Cuba because it illustrates our complete separation from Communist ideals.

It’s time for the Vatican to stand up alongside America and send a clear message to Cuba and other communist countries and express our collective disapproval of their unfair practices.

The Enlightenment liberalism that America is founded on is not a friend of Catholicism either, but it offers it a greater degree of tolerance than Communism. To think of the US as some sort of bulwark of Christianity when it is actually a godless secular regime is therefore misguided.

Well, the trade embargo is ridiculous.

Communism hasn’t been crushed anywhere by sanctions or wars. It’s by exposing the people to western culture that Communism weakens and collapses. NATO didn’t tear down the Berlin Wall.

We trade with China, why not Cuba?

We’d be better off with an embargo against China. They’re the ones wrecking our economy.

It is nothing short of hypocrisy that we refuse trade with Cuba. We trade with China because we see a huge benefit from it financially and because we want to maintain good relations with the worlds largest nation who also has nukes. But we make the lives of Cubans miserable because we don’t support communism…right.

I am no friend of Communism, but I believe that the trade embargo with Cuba is a political and economic dinosaur that ought to have an asteroid fall on its head. The only thing that it has accomplished has been to buy the votes of the descendants of the Cubans who have fled the Castro regime and settled in the U.S. It’s time for it to go.

Florida is a swing state and the Cuban exile population sways the state. Its called politics.
Our Pope is tallking about human suffering.

You describe an America of long ago. The US is a leading proponent and provider of funds for the cause of worldwide abortion. The pope also had words against communism. Communism is on its last legs in Cuba, and if the US would end or minimize its embargo, it would fall. Maybe it is time for America to stand alongside the Vatican in this, and in abortion rights.

God bless you.

link?

Pope calls for an end to trade embargo on Cuba

Speaking in a departure ceremony at a rainy Havana airport, Benedict said Cuba could build, “a society of broad vision, renewed and reconciled,” but it is more difficult, “when restrictive economic measures, imposed from outside the country, unfairly burden its people.”

“The present hour urgently demands that in personal, national and international co-existence we reject immovable positions and unilateral viewpoints,” said Pope Benedict.

LINK

Although I am not familiar with the details, the condemnation of the US trade embargo on Cuba is not new for the Holy See.

The Vatican repeatedly has criticized the U.S. embargo as a measure that has not forced Cuba’s communist government to respect human rights, but instead has had a devastating effect on the Cuban people, especially the poor.

The pope said that peaceful coexistence requires individuals and nations to “reject immovable positions and unilateral viewpoints, which tend to make understanding more difficulty and efforts at cooperation ineffective.”

“Patience and sincere dialogue” are necessary, he said.

catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1201276.htm

A quick (far from comprehensive) Google search shows that in 2001 Pope John Paul II also condemned the US trade embargo on Cuba. And apparently it wasn’t his first time.
articles.orlandosentinel.com/2001-07-07/news/0107070126_1_visiting-the-vatican-vatican-city-pope

He is the Pope. He doesn’t make “rude and biased” comments. :mad:

I’d just like to add that it is unfair for the US to trade with communist China and not with communist Cuba. If the US doesn’t want to trade with communist nations, it would have to be consistent for there to be at least a modicum of fairness.

China is a long way off; Cuba is very near. That’s one of the reasons. Cold war stuff.

I agree with the Holy Father. The embargo is an unfair burden on Cuba. We do trade with China and China is Communist so why not also trade with Cuba?

OK, you need to slow down here and examine what you’re saying. Try looking at this, not through the eyes of an American, but through the eyes of a Catholic who hopes to be a saint.

The first thing that every Catholic who hopes to be saint needs to do is to be in communion with the Church. There are three areas of communion, not two as most American Catholics like to fudge so they can get their way.

  1. Communion in faith and morals: we must believe what the Church says is truth. We must believe when the Church says that something is immoral. The pope just called the embargo immoral. If something is unfair, it violates justice. Anything that violates justice is immoral. We need to be in communion there.

  2. Communion in sacris: we must be in communion on the sacred matters, especially the sacraments. But we cannot receive the Eucharist is we’re not in communion with the Church’s statements about the morality of a situation.

  3. Communion in governance: it is not up to the Catholic man or women to challenge or call into question the pope. In fact, Catholic doctrine says that no one can judge the pope. He is above all law, civil and ecclesiastical. He is bound only by moral and natural law. He has not violated either law in this statement. Therefore, we have no reason to dissent. Dissent is lawful only when the other person violates God’s laws, not our feelings. The Church could care less about our feelings, because our feelings are going to change from person to person and from year to year. Truth remains constant.

The USA has never fought for religious freedom. The Constitution said that the federal government would not adopt a state religion. Guess why? There were states that had a state religion who refused to sign the Articles of Confederation if that right was not protected.

Now, if we look at what’s happening right now, the US Government is attacking freedom of religion at home and abroad. The HHS mandate is an attack on freedom of religion. Forcing religious organizations to consider gay couples as adoptive parents is a violation of freedom of religion. Denying Catholic Charities a government grant solely on the grounds that it does not provide contraceptives, sterilization and abortion, even though it received the highest score of all the providers who had applied for that grant, is a slap in the face of freedom of religions.

A few months ago, Hilary Clinton spoke at a summit of world leaders and said that the USA would reconsider its aid and support to those countries that do not recognize gay marriage as a human right. The Muslim countries that were sitting there were very polite. They didn’t throw tomatoes at her. What she was saying was that if they do not violate their religious belief, there will be no aid for their poor.

. It is our goal as the worlds strongest country to ensure that people from all corners of the earth can enjoy the freedoms we have here at home.

As one who lived in the foreign missions for many years I can tell you that the goal of the US Government is not to spread the American Dream. We support corrupt politicians. We pay them not to tax our corporations or hold them accountable for damaging the environment in developing nations. We pay them to look the other way as they pay workers in other countries inhuman salaries and then bring those good back to the US market and sell them to the American people at 400% increase over what it cost American companies to produce them. In other words, our government’s goal is to protect the interests of some Americans, not even all Americans. Forget other people.

We keep other countries attached to us, because it serves our interests. We’re no different from any other nation on earth.

For the United States to economically support a communist nation that imposes strict and unfair rules on its people would be extremely contradictory to our fundamental truths.

Our fundamental truths must be grounded in the Truth. The fullness of truth subsists in the Catholic Church, not in the United States. Be careful not to speak about government as if you were talking about the Church. They’re not the same and the government does not deserve the reverence that the Church deserves.

It does not make sense for us to openly trade with a communist regime and for the Pope to call our practices “unfair” is offensive. Millions of Americans have died (Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWII, Vietnam War etc.) to ensure that every single human being can live a free and prosperous life with certain God given rights.

The Pope was not offending those people who gave up their lives for this country. Those people did not create or maintain an embargo that does not work and that keeps the citizens of a nation living in poverty. In the meantime, we do business with other regimes and have always done business with them: USSR, China, the Arab countries, Israel, and Venezuela. I believe that Citgo is owned by Hugo Chavez. It’s one of the major competitors in the gasoline industry in the USA. Hugo Chavez is another Fidel Castro.

Communism is not a friend of Catholicism and for the Pope to suggest such is not reflective of the message that God has taught us.

Capitalism is not a friend of Catholicism either. Neither is the USA. Read the other threads on this forum.

However, Jesus is the friend to all people of all nations, whether they live in a Communist country or a Capitalist one. The pope speaks for Christ about Christ’s people, not about and for the USA.

It’s time for the Vatican to stand up alongside America

When was the last time that the USA stood up with the Vatican?

Actually, the Vatican has always stood by the USA. In recent history, Pope John Paul stood by Ronald Reagan to bring down the Iron Curtain. During early American history, the Vatican authorized missions to the US, even though George Washington wrote a discussting letter warning statesmen not to trust the Papists.

The Vatican allowed Bishop John Carrol to found the first religious community of women in the US. They went on to found the first school system in the US, the first hospital system in the US, the first orphanages in the US and the Lunchroom program. I would say that counts as standing up with America where it counts, in service to the American people, not to the government.

and send a clear message to Cuba and other communist countries and express our collective disapproval of their unfair practices.

We can do that at the same time that we send our collective disapproval of the United States’ unfair practices toward Catholics. Have you communicated that to the White House yet? Have you challenged the White House on its abuse of Catholics and our institutions?

Have you reminded judges that to say that a Catholic institution does not qualify for government funding because it does not pay for abortion is a violation of the rights of citizens who benefit from those services and citizens who would be unemployed if those agencies closed down?

We cannot ask the Vatican to stand by America when America exports abortion, contraceptives, gay marriage, pornography, weapons to corrupt governments and has an inconsistent trade policy. At the end of the day, what can today’s Cuba do to the USA? Cuba can’t even fire a bow and arrow. The days of Milk and Honey for the Castro regime died when the Soviet Union died, maybe earlier. In the meantime, all of our allies have trade agreements with Cuba. We’re not asking them to stand by us.

We are Catholics first, then Americans. Our first allegiance is to the Church, not to America. America is not the means to our sanctity. The Church is. I rather be a saint than an American.

Fraternally,

Br.JR, OSF :slight_smile:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.