"We pray to you for changes, the necessary changes, the changes that many of us are waiting for, the changes that give hope," he said. “Changes are needed, because the people are suffering; and they are now suffering more from COVID, and suffering more now because we see many things paralyzed, and suffering more now because perhaps they don’t hear viable answers from those who are the ones who have the responsibility to give them,” he said.
The archbishop said that as Saint John Paul II called for, it is necessary to give hope and signs of change, “that Cuba would open up to the world and the world would open up to Cuba, that no one would want to crush us, because it makes life harder for us.”
"But before all else, Mother, may we Cubans know how to respect one another, because if we respect each other, the world will respect us," he added.
The archbishop also prayed for parents who suffer "when they see their children without hope, parents suffering in the midst of the COVID illness, parents wanting the best for their children" and urged that there be no more ideologies because human beings are made "in the image of God and therefore deserve complete respect."
“Parents would like to give their children an education according to their criteria and beliefs, they would like that; they do not want anyone else to educate their children, but in the way that they believe it should be, it is a right that they have,” he stressed.
“Give us encouragement, give us courage, also give us mercy, give us a fraternal spirit, that we may recognize the other person as a brother and not as the enemy. One Homeland, a house divided destroys itself,” he added.
Finally, the archbishop asked Our Lady to assure Cubans that Christ "always accompanies us, and that you want the best for everyone.”
Communist rule in Cuba was established soon after the conclusion of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, which ousted the authoritarian ruler Fulgencio Batista.