Upon hearing the news that the U.S. and Cuba would re-establish diplomatic ties, Bishop Michael Bird of the diocese of Niagara said in a statement that the diocese “rejoices at the transformational opportunities that this announcement holds for the Cuban people and the ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Cuba.” The diocese of Niagara and the Episcopal diocese of Cuba maintain a companion relationship.
When asked how changes in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba might affect the position of the ECC, Archdeacon Michael Thompson, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, stressed that there is still much that is unknown.
Does anyone believe that the thawing of relations between the U.S. and Cuba will result in transformational opportunities? Will Cuba cease to be a totalitarian state where political dissent is brutally suppressed, or will there be relief for the grinding poverty in which most Cubans live, including those working at luxury resorts that cater to vacationing Canadians – and soon Americans?
Cuba is insisting that the U.S. “respect Cuba’s communist rule“, a demand that will not perturb Western Anglican bishops one iota:
Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday demanded that the United States respect Cuba’s communist rule as the two countries work toward normalizing diplomatic ties.
The main transformation may be that Obama will be able to obtain Cuban cigars legally.