.- The president of the Venezuelan Bishopsâ 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.
âWhat 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,â 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 âhunger in the nation and does not contribute to strengthening democracy.â
The archbishop also indicated that the Venezuelan bishops continue to affirm the words of John Paul II during his visit to the island: âmay Cuba open up to the world and the world open up to Cuba.â Likewise, he expressed his hope that the âCuban people would develop freely, in the best of democratic systems.â
As the archbishop was making his statements, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denied that Fidel Castro had resigned. âWhat resignation? Fidel has not resigned from anything,â Chavez told reporters.