This is bizarre and disturbing, if true. Cardinal Jaime Ortega of Havana says he was detained by Homeland Security over the weekend at Miami’s airport. He said agents pulled him aside and questioned him on his views on Fidel Castro and the US trade embargo. The cardinal says when he refused, the agent said he was opening a “dangerous person” file on him. He says he was treated “rudely and curtly.”
What is this? Cardinal Ortega is no friend of the Cuban Communists, but as the leader of Cuba’s Catholics he has to work with the government to get things done. He is no collaborator, as anyone who has followed the situation in Cuba knows. (I’ve written and edited many stories at Catholic World News and in Catholic World Report over the years about Cuba’s Catholics and the Cardinal in particular.) What Homeland Security expected to accomplish by this harassment is baffling.
The US government admits that the cardinal was detained, but claims he was “treated in the utmost courteous manner.”