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Statement on US-Cuba relations

WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit comments on positive developments in relations between Cuba and the USA announced on 17 December 2014.

18 December 2014

In this Advent season – the season of hope – I celebrate the positive developments in relations between Cuba and the USA announced yesterday.

The World Council of Churches has long accompanied member churches and partners in both countries in their search for reconciliation and justice, including for the release of political prisoners. Through many years of witness and advocacy, we have hoped and prayed that this day would come.

The fact that the long-held hope seems now to be reflected in political action – and long-detained prisoners are now released to their families – is a sign on our pilgrimage of justice and peace: a sign that despite long and bitter divisions, peace and reconciliation is always possible. It shows us that the way to Just Peace is the path on which people find each other as fellow pilgrims, at peace with one another.

Politicians must be the servants of the people in fulfilling, not obstructing, their desire for peace and community. The initiatives announced yesterday are based on a welcome and long overdue recognition that the policy of isolation and demonization is outdated, and that the peoples of Cuba and the USA need another policy for their common future. Now it will be the responsibility and duty of both governments to ensure that the hopes so greatly encouraged by yesterday’s announcements are realized, and peace between these communities experienced as a reality.

At this Christmas time, I pray for rapid progress on this path.

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General secretary
World Council of Churches