Vatican News Paid Tribute to 60th Anniversary of Cuban Revolution in Deleted Post

Pope Francis twirls a soccer ball he was presented by a member of the Circus of Cuba.

The Vatican News website recently paid tribute to Cuba on the 60th anniversary of the Communist revolution in a post that was quickly deleted, according to reports.

The Communist island nation marked the occasion with celebrations on News Year's Day, while several leftist Latin American leaders tweeted their best wishes.

The socialist despot president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro tweeted: "We commemorate the anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution led by Commander Fidel Castro. 60 years of sacrifices, struggles and blockade; There is the heroic Cuban people, an example of resistance and dignity to the world. Long Live Cuba!"

In a pinned tweet, another socialist leader, Bolivia's Evo Morales, stated: "We salute the victory of Bro. Commandant. Fidel Castro and the valiant Cuban people on the proimperialist dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista."

Not to be outdone, the Vatican News Service offered its own tribute of sorts to commemorate the festive occasion: Cuba Celebrates 60 Years of the Revolution. The post reportedly read:

The historic anniversary was celebrated with an official ceremony in which the former head of state and leader of the Cuban Communist Party, Raúl Castro, and the current president of the nation, Miguel Díaz-Canel, participated.

The post was apparently deleted, but not before some appalled readers captured it:

Some Catholics on Twitter criticized the post for what they felt was an inappropriately simpatico tone.

Below, read an excerpt of the Vatican News post (English via Google Translate):

The Cuban Revolution celebrated its 60th anniversary this January 1, 2019. On the island, the historic anniversary was celebrated with a ceremony in Santiago de Cuba, in the cemetery of Santa Ifigenia, where Fidel Castro is buried, who died on November 25, 2016. To the main national forces on January 10, 1959, the dictator Fulgencio Batista fled 26 months of guerrilla war led by brothers Fidel and Raul Castro. From Santiago, Fidel Castro proclaimed the beginning of the revolution the victory of the counterculture.

Batista was president of Cuba from 1952 to 1959 before being overthrown during the violent Cuban Revolution. Fidel Castro turned the formerly prosperous island nation into a one-party communist system, transforming it into the impoverished and closed society it is today.

Following the revolution, the new Cuban government declared itself officially atheist and nationalized all property held by religious organizations, including the Catholic Church. Before Castro's assault on the Church, more than 90 percent of Cubans were Catholic. Hundreds of them, including a bishop, were permanently expelled from the nation.

Wrote author and professor of political science Paul Kengor:

The regime quickly launched a propaganda campaign against the faithful, describing Catholics as “social scum.” By the late 1960s, Christmas was banned on the island. Churches were shut down. Priests and their parishioners were silenced, arrested or placed under tight surveillance, with every word of every service or homily monitored by government church-watchers infiltrating the pews. Any criticism, especially of the Marxist regime, was very dangerous. One could not be a member of the Communist Party in Cuba (the only party legally permitted, including for any government jobs) without professing a belief in atheism.

Between 1959 and 1980, an estimated 500,000 Cubans fled the island towards the United States for political, religious, and economic reasons.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba was deprived of its main financial backer. Castro then turned to the Vatican for diplomatic assistance. The Cuban government began loosening some restrictions on the Church, and the Communist Party finally dropped its ban on believers in its ranks.

Obviously, the anniversary of Cuba's Communist revolution is nothing to which the Catholic Church should be paying any sort of tribute.

One day after the 60th anniversary of Cuba's revolution, Pope Francis welcomed artists from the national circus of Cuba to his first papal audience of the year.

“I want to say hello and thank the circus artists from the circus of Cuba,” Francis reportedly said in Italian. “With this show, they bring beauty. A beauty that requires so much effort to do it. We have seen it. So much training, so much going on. But beauty always raises the heart, beauty makes us all better.”

The Vatican News Service has not offered an explanation for the deleted post. PJ Media has requested comment and is awaiting a response.