Statement by Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) / CONELA Regarding President Obama’s announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease economic restrictions on the nation
SACRAMENTO, California, Dec. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — “As a Christian, the normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba prompts both concern and hopeful expectations.
“First, I am concerned that normalizing diplomatic ties without addressing Castro’s horrendous human rights record serves as a defacto endorsement for one of the most oppressive regimes in recent history. As a result of Castro’s totalitarian rule, millions live in poverty, thousands lie in prisons, and many have lost their lives. In addition, the God-given rights of Cuban citizens are held hostage to governmental persecution.
“Nevertheless, if this controversial step results in the alleviation of hunger and opens the door for personal freedoms to flourish, then I pray this decision will serve as a catalytic step in unleashing the followers of Jesus to be the Church both inside and outside of the island nation, addressing the spiritual and physical needs of the Cuban people.”
NHCLC/CONELA is the largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org.