LETTER OF CARDINAL
With the coming of Easter, I would like, first of all, to offer best wishes to you and to the whole Cuban nation.
Then, fulfilling the important duty entrusted to me, I express the Holy Father's deep distress upon learning of the severe sentences recently passed on many Cuban citizens, including capital punishment for some of them.
In the face of such realities, His Holiness has charged me to ask Your Excellency to consider making a significant gesture of mercy towards the condemned, with the certainty that such a reprieve would contribute to a more relaxed and beneficial atmosphere for the Cuban people.
I am certain also that you share with me the conviction that only a sincere and constructive exchange between the citizens and civil authorities can guarantee the promotion of a modern and democratic State, in a more united and fraternal Cuba.
I take advantage of this opportunity to express once again to you, Mr President, my high esteem and sincere respect.
13 April 2003, Palm Sunday
Cardinal Angelo Sodano
*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.18 p.1.