Radio-TV Marti blasts Cuban cardinal, but piece is quickly removed

WASHINGTON - An editorial by the director of Radio and TV Marti blasting Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino as a "lackey" of the Cuban government was taken down from the U.S. government agency's website soon after a newspaper article about it was published. The Washington Post reported May 6 that the editorial read on the network and published on the website of the organization said Cardinal Ortega is colluding with the oppressive regime. "This attitude of Ortega just goes to show his political collusion with the government and his willingness to follow the official line," the Post said the editorial read. "This lackey attitude demonstrates a profound lack of understanding and compassion toward the human reality of these children of God." It concluded by asking the cardinal to "please be faithful to the Gospel you preach." But by the next morning, the item had been pulled from the organization's site. Radio and TV Marti are funded by the U.S. government, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors that oversees it is appointed by the White House. But the network's director, Carlos Garcia-Perez, told the Miami newspaper El Nuevo Herald the organization is editorially independent and its positions do not represent the opinions of the government. Radio and TV Marti are intended to reach people living in Cuba, but the government there blocks the signals most of the time. The editorial is the latest round of criticisms of Cardinal Ortega following an address he gave at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government April 24. At the conclusion of his talk, the cardinal was asked about criticisms made by exile groups in Miami and by anti-government activists in Cuba that the church, and the cardinal in particular, are too close to the Castro regime.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 1970