WASHINGTON (February 13, 1998) -- The Chairman of the United States Catholic Conference Committee on International Policy expressed satisfaction that the Cuban government has granted the Pope's request to release a certain number of detainees from the list presented to the Cuban authorities by the Holy See.
"It was gratifying also to hear that the Cuban government, citing humanitarian grounds, has reprieved a significant number of other persons detained for various reasons," said Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick.
The Archbishop noted that the Holy Father, in departure remarks at the conclusion of his trip to Cuba, cited the numerous problems that plague Cuban society today, most of which have their origin within Cuba, but some--such as "oppressive economic measures" imposed from outside the country--point to the United States. "All can and should take practical steps to bring about changes in this regard," the Pope stated.
"It seems to us," Archbishop McCarrick said,"that this most welcome decision by the Cuban government to release significant numbers of prisoners represents one of those 'practical steps' that clearly call for some reciprocal action on the part of the United States government."