Cuba Impedes Caritas from Opening Centers for AIDS Patients

MIAMI, Florida, SEPT. 7, 2001 ( The Cuban government is blocking Caritas-Cuba from opening care centers for AIDS patients.

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Caritas representatives made the problem known following their tour of several U.S. cities, according to the latest issue of Voz Católica, the Spanish-language information bulletin of the Miami Archdiocese.

Father Fernando de la Vega, parish priest of Monserrat Church, in Havana, offers consolation and as much help as possible to AIDS sufferers, but he has been denied the possibility of opening a home for them.

«What they appreciate most is the human warmth we give them; thanks be to God, this does not cost anything,» the parish priest explained.

When AIDS patients are unemployed, «all they can do is sell their bodies,» Father Vega added. This is why five years ago his parish began to hold meetings to teach patients self-esteem. About 100 people have registered for these sessions.

When possible, they are offered a hot dinner once a week, as well as medication, and facilities for personal hygiene.

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