Search

 

Cablegate: Brigittine Sister Describes Fidel's Health, Religious

VZCZCXRO2073
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHSR
DE RUEHROV #0171 3250959
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P R 210959Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0845
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNWEC/WESTERN EUROPE AND CANADA COLLECTIVE
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0879

C O N F I D E N T I A L VATICAN 000171

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/21/2017
TAGS: PREL CU VT
SUBJECT: BRIGITTINE SISTER DESCRIBES FIDEL'S HEALTH, RELIGIOUS
SITUATION IN CUBA


REF: 06 VATICAN 262

CLASSIFIED BY: Christopher Sandrolini, DCM, EXEC, State.
REASON: 1.4 (d)

1. (C) Summary. A prominent Rome-based nun who is on good terms
with Fidel Castro told Ambassador about her recent trip to Cuba,
Fidel's health, improving conditions for religion in Cuba, and
relations with Cardinal Ortega. End summary.

2. (C) Ambassador and DCM called on Mother Tekla Famiglietti,
Abbess General of the Brigittine Sisters in Rome and a friend of
Fidel Castro (see reftel for previous reporting), November 19 to
hear about her visit to Cuba earlier this month. Mother Tekla
said that unlike previous visits, during this trip she did not
see Castro personally, but spoke to him by phone. She said his
personal secretary, Carlos Valenciaga Diaz, confirmed to her
that Castro does not have any cancer, is slowly recovering from
his two operations, but is still suffering from severe pains on
his right side.

3. (C) Brigittines in Cuba: Mother Tekla said she had asked
Castro for her order to have a fourth building in Cuba for
charitable purposes (feeding the hungry). Castro, in response,
urged her firmly to use the new building for religious purposes
as well. The Brigittines have ten sisters in Cuba at present,
supported in part by occasional donations from Rome. Mother
Tekla reported that the Cubans have given her order a ""nice
house"" in Pinar del Rio. According to her, Cardinal Jaime
Ortega and Bishop Jorge Serpa both asked her to come to Pinar
del Rio, and Castro gave her freedom to choose any location she
wished to begin work.

4. (C) Religion in Cuba: Mother Tekla describes Cardinal Ortega
as ""satisfied"" at having obtained materials to build a seminary,
and as having warmed somewhat toward the regime and to her own
efforts. She believes Castro has had a change of heart about
religion. Church attendance in Cuba is up, and the Brigittine
church is full -- ""we have no problems now, it is very open.""
She described Raul Castro as very open, and in agreement with
his brother on religion.

5. (C) Mother Tekla and Cuba: Mother Tekla plans to return to
Cuba in the spring. She stays in touch by email with her order
in Cuba, and with Cardinal Ortega. In Rome she speaks with the
Pope, with Cardinal Bertone (due to visit Cuba in January), and
with Archbishop Filoni. She urges the USG to abandon its
embargo, which she says is harmful to Cubans.

6. (C) Comment: we do not sense that much is new in what Mother
Tekla told us this time, but report it for what it's worth and
to remind readers that she is a regular visitor to Cuba who
appears to have good access to Fidel Castro. (In turn, he
appears to have considerable influence over her.)

ROONEY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 




UN: “COVID-19 Is Not Over”, Tedros Warns World Health Assembly

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told global health Ministers on Sunday that although reported COVID-19 cases and deaths have declined significantly, it is not time to lower the guard... More>>



UN: Bachelet Calls On Mexico To Step Up Efforts As Tragic Milestone Reached Of More Than 100,000 Disappearances

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Tuesday called on the Mexican authorities to step up efforts to ensure truth and justice for victims of disappearances, who now number more than 100,000, according to official data... More>>


ADC: Statement On The Assassination Of Shireen Abu Akleh

Early this morning in Jenin, Occupied Palestine, revered Palestinian voice Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American journalist for Al Jazeera, was assassinated by Israeli Occupation Forces snipers...
More>>





Access Now: Elon Musk’s Twitter Buyout Must Not Come At The Expense Of Human Rights

Following today’s announcement that Elon Musk will acquire complete ownership of Twitter in a cash sale of around 44 billion USD, pending shareholder approval, Access Now urges Twitter’s Board, employees, and shareholders... More>>



UN: Biodiversity And Ecosystem Protection Highlighted On Mother Earth Day

Marking International Mother Earth Day, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid urged on Friday, for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems... More>>

Ukraine: Hundreds More Reach Safety After Fleeing Besieged Mariupol
In Ukraine, humanitarians said on Wednesday that hundreds of people have managed to reach safety after fleeing Mariupol, where there’s also been condemnation for the killing of Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius... More>>