Church welcomes US-Cuba thaw

The Moderator of the General Assembly has welcomed a thawing of relations between the US and Cuba.

The Moderator of the General Assembly has welcomed a thawing of relations between the US and Cuba.

In a letter to the Presbyterian Reformed Church of Cuba, Rt Rev John Chalmers expressed his gratitude that the two governments had reopened diplomatic relations after more than 50 years of hostility.

He wrote: "We have we witnessed a step forward in the journey to the lifting of sanctions over Cuba by the USA.

"Both presidents publically announced the necessity of bringing to an end more than 50 years of difficult relationships and of once again developing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"The Church of Scotland, at its General Assembly in 2013 agreed the following deliverance:

'Instruct the World Mission Council to engage with the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba and others to support measures to entreat the USA to lift its embargo on Cuba and promote the re-engagement of Cuba on the world stage.'

"As part of our continuing engagement, we have ensured dialogue with the Presbyterian Church, USA and also with you, the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba (PRCC).

"We were grateful for the opportunity to visit Cuba at Eastertime last year as part of the Moderatorial visit of Very Rev Lorna Hood. This visit has gone a long way to deepening our relationship and our understanding of each other as churches.

"We give thanks to God for the new developments but realise there is still much to be agreed before real change will be seen by the people of Cuba. We also are thankful for the unwavering presence, even in difficult days of the PRCC, and your fight for peace and justice for the people of your beautiful country."

"We look forward with you, in faith and continued action to a time where Cuba can take its rightful place on the world stage."