Wednesday October 24, 2018

Priests from Cuba’s Afro-Cuban religion forecast a prosperous 2017 in their New Year’s Prophecy

0
//
125
Santeria followers reach out for copies of the annual Letter of the Year, written by Afro-Cuban Santeria priests outlining predictions for the new year in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 3, 2017. VOA
Republish
Reprint

Priests from Cuba’s Afro-Cuban religion forecast a prosperous 2017 in their New Year’s prophecy and told Cubans to be hopeful despite the economic and diplomatic headwinds the Caribbean island-nation faces.

The ritual-filled Santeria religion, which fuses ancient African beliefs brought to Cuba by slaves with Catholicism, is practiced by millions of Cubans, many of whom eagerly await guidance from its annual forecast.

“This [reading] forecasts a favorable development from the point of view of economic management,” priest Lazaro Cuesta, clad in white as a symbol of purity, told a news conference Tuesday in Havana.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

That forecast contrasted with President Raul Castro’s gloomy depiction of the economy last week. He told the National Assembly that Cuba entered a recession last year in tandem with the crisis in Venezuela, a key ally, although the economy might eke out growth in 2017.

It also flew in the face of darker prophecies in recent years. The Santeria priests, known as babalawos, had predicted an explosion in migration and social unrest in 2015 and 2016.

Santeria priests attend the reading of the annual Letter of the Year, written by Afro-Cuban Santeria priests, listing predictions for the new year in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 3, 2017.
Santeria priests attend the reading of the annual Letter of the Year, written by Afro-Cuban Santeria priests, listing predictions for the new year in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 3, 2017. VOA

Santeria priests attend the reading of the annual Letter of the Year, written by Afro-Cuban Santeria priests, listing predictions for the new year in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 3, 2017.

Asked about the future of U.S.-Cuban relations given U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s threat to end the fledgling detente, Cuesta used an image to suggest both sides would continue to negotiate.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

Cuesta said the reigning Yoruba deity Oggun, god of iron, tools and weapons, would use his machetes to cut down the plants preventing communication.

“Independently of the instability anyone might feel, of the political happenings in the world, the letter of the year gives the Cuban people, and the world, hope,” he said. “If we are capable of hearing, expressing, understanding, contributing, the results without doubt will arrive.”

The babalawos recommended Santeria devotees wear white, avoid the excessive consumption of alcohol, and pay attention to possible acts of corruption.

They advised followers to protect coastal areas from waste and to encourage economic and sociocultural exchanges between countries.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

Senior babalawo Bebo Padron said this year’s prophecy called for Cubans to unite, possibly a reference to opposition to the country’s government and those who have emigrated.

Two of the six slogans for 2017 chosen by the faith were “Only one king governs a people” and “no hat can be more famous than a crown.”

Santeria followers have believed their gods were on the side of the Cuban revolution ever since a white dove landed on the shoulder of late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro during a victory speech in Havana. (VOA)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

0
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)