Cuba’s Santeria priests warn of pandemics, offer hope of better times


HAVANA (Reuters) – Priests from Cuba’s Afro-Cuban Santeria faith referred to as on their followers to protect in opposition to an infection within the New Year whereas elevating hopes of better times as it will be watched over by a benevolent deity.

In their annual prophesy the priests, often known as babalawos, introduced that 2022 can be underneath the divinity of one of Santeria’s most compassionate deities, Obatala, the creator of human beings.

“Yes, it means a better 12 months,” one babalawo texted his followers, in line with a Reuters witness who was requested to not use his title.

The ritual-filled faith, which fuses Catholicism with historic African beliefs delivered to Cuba by slaves, is practiced by thousands and thousands of Cubans, many of whom eagerly await steering from its annual forecast.

“Maintain the highest possible hygiene in our homes and public places in general to avoid new epidemic outbreaks, in addition to the existing ones,” babalawo Lazaro Cuesta stated, upon studying the letter, including that individuals ought to search unity within the dwelling and on the road to keep away from violence.

Another chief of the group that long-established the letter that guides followers habits, Victor Betancourt, warned that illness would enhance resulting from negligence worldwide and so the letter was for everybody in all places.

Cubans have suffered meals, drugs and different shortages resulting from an financial disaster attributable to the pandemic, U.S. sanctions and the Communist-run authorities’s missteps. That led to unprecedented unrest in July and a crackdown on protesters that has left a whole lot behind bars.

Homegrown vaccines efficiently introduced underneath management a surge introduced on by the Delta variant of COVID-19 over the summer time. Reported instances presently stand at round 450 per day, down greater than 90% from the height of the pandemic, in line with the federal government.

More than 85% of the inhabitants is vaccinated and are presently receiving a booster shot in hopes of holding at bay the Omicron variant.

(Writing by Marc Frank; reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by Mark Porter)

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