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Castro's daughter doubts real reform is possible in Cuba

Catholic World News - March 28, 2012

As Pope Benedict XVI met with Fidel Castro in Havana, the estranged daughter of the longtime Cuban dictator told an Italian newspaper that her father’s tenure was “a tragedy for Cuba.”

Alina Fernandez, who fled from Cuba in 1993 and now hosts a radio show in Miami, told La Stampa that it would be “a beautiful thing” if Fidel Castro returned to the Catholic faith. But she expressed grave doubts that the ailing Cuban leader was ready for such a conversion. “I think he assumes he’s immortal,” she said.

Fernandez was equally pessimistic about the prospects for real change in Cuba as a result of the papal visit. Although her father and the current president, Raul Castro, are aging, she said that they had no plans for serious reform. Their political program, she said, consists of “Keeping themselves in power. Nothing else.”

Saying that she had “mixed feelings” about the wisdom of the papal visit, Fernandez said that the Pope’s presences would be exploited by the governing regime, yet his visit was “very important for believers.” She did say clearly that she wished the Pontiff had made time for a meeting with anti-Castro dissidents.

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