Cuba, a false realm of redemption
Relations have been severed between the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church for almost a millennium, but now their two leaders will meet at the José Martí Airport for talks.
The establishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana and the progress made in the standoff between the two countries, that stems back half a century, seems to have burnished Cuba's fame as an ideal site for diplomatic meetings. The Colombian government and that country's guerrillas have met there to negotiate, and the Pope and Eastern patriarch will also seek to overcome a millennium of disagreements on the island. Kirill is touring Latin America, while Francis will stop over in Havana on his way to Mexico.
General Raúl Castro, who appeared in the picture in which Juan Manuel Santos and "Timoshenko" shook hands, will be on hand to host and facilitate this new event. The repressor of national dialogue and any and all differences in his country, and the head of the Hemisphere's sole dictatorship, will once again receive the Pope's blessing.
During his visit in September 2015 Francis exhibited signs of complicity with the regime. Though provided proof and news of its repressive ways, he decided to look the other way. By choosing Havana for this momentous meeting, rather than Mexico or another Latin American country, His Holiness furnishes the dictator with even more legitimacy, bolstering his role as a conciliatory figure.
With papal consent, the historic summit between the churches will again establish Cuba as a false realm of redemption, in which foreign clashes dating back centuries can be overcome - but where it is forbidden to even suggest the commencement of such talks between the host country’s own people.