Hmmph … Pope and U.S. blockade of Cuba


A little-known book [“Dialogues between John Paul II and Fidel Castro”] about Cuba by Jorge Mario Bergoglio now Pope Francis provides new insight into his views on Cuban society, Marxism and the U.S. trade embargo that helped inform his behind-the-scenes role in helping bring about the historic thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations.

Bergoglio compiled “Dialogues between John Paul II and Fidel Castro” in 1998, soon after the Polish pope’s landmark visit to the communist island. Bergoglio attended the event as the soon-to-be-named archbishop of Buenos Aires, but he clearly was versed in the issues well before given the impact of the Cold War standoff throughout Latin America.

In the booklet, Bergoglio harshly criticized socialism and by extension Castro’s atheist revolution for denying individuals their “transcendent dignity” and putting them solely at the service of the state. At the same time, he denounced the U.S. embargo and economic isolation of Cuba that impoverished the island.

“The Cuban people must overcome this isolation,” he wrote.

Significantly, the first chapter of the book is titled “The value of dialogue,” and it is clear that Bergoglio fervently believes as did John Paul that dialogue was the only way to end Cuba’s isolation and its hostility to the Catholic Church while promoting democracy.

In quoting from both John Paul and Castro’s speeches during the trip, Bergoglio noted that the two sometimes talked past one another as John Paul insisted on a space for the church to operate in Cuba and Castro insisted on the similarities between Marxism and Christianity.

“But they both had to listen to each other,” he wrote.

Francis has frequently emphasized the need for dialogue to forge peace, as evidenced by his invitation to the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to come together to pray at the Vatican last June. His invitation to U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban counterpart Raul Castro to hash out their differences over the Caribbean island, with the Vatican as a mediator, was done in that same vein.

Austen Ivereigh, who referenced the book in his new biography of Francis “The Great Reformer,” said Bergoglio demonstrated an “incredibly evenhanded” approach to the Cuban problem while outlining a future for the island that may well be more realistic now that the thaw has begun.

“He sees Cuba’s future as being a democratic government rooted in the Christian, humanist values of the Cuban pueblo,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s a kind of nationalist Catholic understanding of politics, neither left nor right, neither communism nor unadulterated market capitalism.”


Nominate for first ever National Indigenous Human Rights Awards

The National Indigenous Human Rights Awards will be launched at NSW Parliament in late June, with nominations now open. The Awards will be Welcomed in by NSW parliamentarian, Linda Burney and launched alongside Yalmay Yunupingu and Gail Mabo and will … Continue reading


Unity & Community! Brisbane Community Action Network invites you to…

End o’ year BBQ! Dec 21, 2014 5pm-8pm The Basement @ 5 Paris Street, West End (near the 199 bus stop cnr Vulture and Hardgrave Rd) After many achievements this year, the Brisbane Community Action Network would like to invite … Continue reading

“BETRAYAL”: A critical analysis of rape culture in Anarchist subcultures

“In the end, it won’t be
the words of our enemies we remember, but the silence of
our friends."


7pm Tues 23rd Dec

69 Thomas St, West End

JOIN US IN A READING GROUP TO DISCUSS “BETRAYAL”: A critical analysis of rape culture in Anarchist subcultures. The essay speaks on rape culture in the anarchist milieu and what tends to happen during accountability processes stressing survivor autonomy.

The reading discusses the challenges in and gives perspective on how people can be held accountable by the community, from things like bullying all the way to sexual assaults. Brisbane Solidarity Network Believes it is important in understanding this subject matter if activists are going to be able to relate to each other in a healthy way and to create safer spaces.

We acknowledgement of how sensitive the subject matter is and because of that there will be people on hand to accompany if people who need a time out, as we understand some of the subject matter can cause people to relive painful experiences. Without developing a culture of understanding the nature of interpersonal violence we will be less equipped to stop it and hold people accountable for it, thus we invite everyone to join in such a reading and discussion.

This is the zine and be read, downloaded and printed out with this link here –

Trigger warning – The content of the zine discusses the nature of interpersonal violence & sexual assault.

The BSN understands it might be too intense for people, to talk about it publically and it might be– BSN |

Ordinary citizens organising for social justice in response to the G20.  Brisbane, Australia.

List members are private, only list members can view posts or archives. Mind you, this may not stop them.


History repeats: Ethnic cleansing in ACT 1954 and now in WA removal from homelands.

Subject: [SU] History repeats: Ethnic cleansing in ACT 1954 and now in WA removal from homelands. find attached another missive from ghillar michael anderson on removing aborigines from their homeland areas. i have nothing to say on this matter other … Continue reading


Cuban Five and the Blockade

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Since my election as President of the State Council and Council of Ministers I have reiterated in many occasions our willingness to hold a respectful dialogue with the United States on the basis of sovereign equality, in order to deal … Continue reading


‘No appeal from the grave’

‘No appeal from the grave’ Phillip Hughes, workplace deaths and getting the balance right. The death of cricketer Phillip Hughes on 27 November was one of several hundred workplace fatalities during 2014. His death was indeed an accident. Today, bouncers … Continue reading


a day of great shame

today is day of great shame for our police-controlled judicial system! today is a day were legal fraud has been blatantly put on show in its most arrogant form! today four nsw police were exonerated of the police-initiated death of … Continue reading


Action Alert – Melbourne overnight protest vigil to stop forced deportation to danger

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‘The Refugee Action Collective and Hazara community representatives have called a protest vigil to stop the deportation of Gulistan, a 33 year old Hazara man who has been in Australia for 3 years. Hazaras returning to Afghanistan have been tortured … Continue reading


Force of circumstance: siege ends in grief

And once, when Sartre had made some comment,
he [Fanon] gave an explanation of his egocentricity:
a member of a colonised people must be constantly aware
of his position, his image; he is being threatened from
all sides; impossible to forget for an instant the need
to keep up one’s defences.
— Simone de Beauvoir, The Force of Circumstance Continue reading