The Lay Diocesan Council of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, published a statement this week denouncing the serious crisis that is currently engulfing Cuban society and warning that it will only be overcome with a development model that promotes the human person.
Under the title, “Discouragement is a call for hope and for change,” the Council states, “Our desperation is the fruit of having placed our hopes in projects which do not promote the human person” and which fail to take into account that “as a project, man is constantly remaking himself, and that model of humanity is nothing more than Christ Jesus.”
“Our hope is not in expecting God to do everything, but rather, relying upon God, doing with others what it belongs to us to do,” says the text published by the Vitral newsletter.
The Council adds, “Our despair is the fruit of peacefully waiting for others to find the solutions instead of offering our own share of sacrifices and personal responsibilities. Authentic sacrifice is to work here and now so that what is lacking is made ever more present.”
Signs of the Crisis
The Council also calls on Cubans to consider the signs of the crisis: emigration, tensions, the lack of plans for the future, incoherency, and the lack of personal fulfillment.
“We can see an increase in despair because today more than ever integrity, dignity and the rights of the human person are threatened, and we see an increase in personal and social violence, in the increasingly frequent signs of alienation and hedonism, family divisions, the loss of values, the lack of freedom, structural oppression and injustice…Many people have no sense of hope whatsoever.”
The statement underscores that “hope is a very fragile experience and can be vulnerable in the face of continuous failure, because it is lived out in the changing reality of every day life” but “it is love and trust, and it greatly expands precisely in times of crisis. Jesus told us in word and deed: ‘I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full’ (Jn 6:40). We have been saved in order to live in faith and hope.”
The Lay Council calls on Cubans to “learn to hope, not with their arms folded, without becoming overwhelmed by ever-changing reality. With the diversity of beliefs and ideologies as our starting point, we should reflect, dialogue, look to the future and create new social projects for our country, in which man is the subject, the protagonist and the end.”
The Council added, “The problem of Cuba is a problem among Cubans, it is a problem which springs from our way of living and organizing the country and it should be resolved by all Cubans, without exceptions.”
“Our people have shown throughout its history a great capacity to recuperate, create new initiatives, and come up with creative solutions to overcome crises and bring about necessary change. We are characterized as well by having the tools, the gifts and the charisms to choose life and to go forward. Let’s choose life and the path of peace, which are the beginning of a new day and strength for the future,” the statement concludes.