DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN-MON     May 22-25, 1998     vol. 9, no. 100

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          MIAMI (CWNews.com) - The US government gave approval on Thursday to a request by the Archdiocese of Miami to begin shipments of humanitarian aid to Cuba which had been suspended since 1996.

          The archdiocese was granted a license for a direct flight to Cuba one day after the Clinton administration authorized a resumption of aid flights, said Peter Coats, special assistant to Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Wenski, the director of Catholic Charities in Miami. Fifteen palettes loaded with disposable medical supplies such as syringes, gauze, bandages, gloves, and surgical masks were sitting in the archdiocese warehouse ready for transporting, Coats said. The charter plane is expected to fly in the last week of May.

          The Cuban Catholic group Caritas will disburse the supplies throughout the country. Regular flights are expected to be set up. The Clinton administration warned that the allowance of aid flights should not be seen as a relaxing of the 36-year-old embargo which Pope John Paul II criticized during his recent visit to the Communist country. A spokesman said the embargo would continue until the administration saw significant reforms in the one-party Communist system.

          In a related story, A human rights group warned on Thursday that the majority of Cuban hospitals are promoting abortion among teenagers and young women as a way to keep the Communist country's birth rate low.

          In a report made public in Mexico, the Lawton Foundation revealed that there has been an dramatic increase in the number of chemical abortions performed in hospitals throughout Cuba. Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet Gonzalez and Rolando Munoz Yiyobre, both members of Lawton, said that during the ten months in 1997 when the investigation was conducted, one hospital alone performed 1,780 abortions.

          Munoz said abortions performed with a chemical product known as Rivanol are becoming more frequent. "This substance that is supposed to kill the baby after the first three months of pregnancy, frequently allows the birth of the baby who is left to die few hours later," he said.

          The research showed that in 60 percent of the cases of women who were having their second or third pregnancy, the babies survived the use of Rivanol, but the doctors let them die. The Lawton Foundation said that Cuban doctors frequently say that the babies are born with malformations, but the investigation showed that in 80 percent of the cases the babies were healthy and did not have any visible health problem.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

May 22-24, 1998       volume 9, no. 100


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