The president of the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Ubaldo Santana, said the bishops of Venezuela hope that the retirement of Fidel Castro will open the way to suspending the economic blockade against Cuba.
“What is happening in Cuba is very important, the retirement of President Fidel Castro marks a new historic period that had already begun in that country,” the archbishop said.
He stressed that the bishops of Venezuela have always supported the request by the Holy See to suspend the blockade, as it has only produced “hunger in the nation and does not contribute to strengthening democracy.”
The archbishop also indicated that the Venezuelan bishops continue to affirm the words of John Paul II during his visit to the island: “may Cuba open up to the world and the world open up to Cuba.” Likewise, he expressed his hope that the “Cuban people would develop freely, in the best of democratic systems.”
As the archbishop was making his statements, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denied that Fidel Castro had resigned. “What resignation? Fidel has not resigned from anything,” Chavez told reporters.