Comentario del senador Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sobre el fallecimiento del cardenal Jaime Lucas Ortega Alamino

Por: Senador Patrick Leahy

Senador Patrick Leahy y el cardenal Ortega
Senador Patrick Leahy y el cardenal Ortega

[Over the course of two decades, Senator Leahy and Cardinal Ortega became close friends and partners in the negotiations that ultimately led to the restoration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba].

I will never forget my very first meeting with Cardinal Ortega in Havana, because Marcelle and I recognized immediately that this was a man of the highest integrity, of immeasurable devotion to the humanitarian mission of the Catholic Church and to his country, and of unwavering determination to improve the lives of the Cuban people.

Cardinal Ortega and I met many times, and I valued enormously his friendship and guidance. I asked Cardinal Ortega to seek Pope Francis’ support for reconciliation between the United States and Cuba. It was Cardinal Ortega who hand-delivered the Pope’s response to President Obama. Throughout his life of service to the Cuban people, during times that were often fraught with difficult challenges, Cardinal Ortega was a steady voice of reason, of compassion, and of defense of fundamental rights and liberties. For many of us, he was Cuba’s conscience. He will be missed by the millions of people whose lives he touched, in both our countries, and around the world.

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Comentario del senador Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sobre el fallecimiento del cardenal Jaime Lucas Ortega Alamino

[En el transcurso de dos décadas, el senador Leahy y el cardenal Ortega se hicieron amigos cercanos y socios en las negociaciones que finalmente condujeron al restablecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas entre los Estados Unidos y Cuba].

Nunca olvidaré mi primer encuentro con el cardenal Ortega en La Habana, porque Marcelle y yo reconocimos de inmediato que se trataba de un hombre de la más alta integridad, de inmensa devoción a la misión humanitaria de la Iglesia católica y de su país, y de una inquebrantable determinación por mejorar la vida de los cubanos.

El cardenal Ortega y yo nos encontramos muchas veces, y valoré enormemente su amistad y orientación. Le pedí al cardenal Ortega que buscara el apoyo del Papa Francisco para la reconciliación entre Estados Unidos y Cuba. Fue el cardenal Ortega quien entregó personalmente la respuesta del Papa al presidente Obama. A lo largo de su vida de servicio al pueblo cubano, durante los tiempos que a menudo estuvieron plagados de desafíos difíciles, el cardenal Ortega fue una voz firme de la razón, la compasión y la defensa de los derechos y libertades fundamentales. Para muchos de nosotros, él era la conciencia de Cuba. Lo extrañarán millones de personas cuyas vidas tocó, tanto en nuestros países como en todo el mundo.

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