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Elpidophoros Receives Cuban FM at Archdiocese, Causing Outrage

September 23, 2022

BOSTON – Archbishop Elpidophoros of America received the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla at Archdiocese headquarters in Manhattan, provoking the anger of Senator Robert Menendez and Greek-American community leaders such as Endy Zemenides, Executive Director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC).

The Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs was accompanied by the members of the delegation who participated in the meeting with Elpidophoros, including Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos. F. Cossio, the Ambassador of Cuba in Washington, Lianys Torres Rivera, the Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Yuri Gala, Noel Quesada González the Head of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Ernesto Sierra, the Second Secretary of the Cuban Mission to the UN.

Also present at the visit were Protopresbyter Fr. Alexander Karloutsos, Archimandrite Fr. Vasilios Drosos, adviser and confidant of Archbishop Elpidophoros, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese Archimandrite Fr. Nektarios Papazafeiropoulos and his brother, Protopresbyter Fr. Panagiotis Papazafeiropoulos, also a confidant of Elpidophoros.

Left to Right: Deputy Ambassador to the UN Mr. Yuri Gala; Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Carlos. F. Cossio; Ambassador of Cuba in Washington Ms. Lianys Torres Rivera; Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla; Archbishop Elpidophoros of America; the Rev. Protopresbyter Alex Karloutsos; Archdiocesan Chancellor Archimandrite Nektarios Papazafiropoulos; the V. Rev. Archimandrite Vasileios Drosos. (Photo: GOARCH/Dimitrios S. Panagos)

It is emphasized that Senator Robert Menendez, whose family was expelled from Cuba by the Castro regime, is today the most ardent and effective supporter of Greece and Cyprus in Congress.

Menendez responded via Twitter to a Tweet by Zemenides, the first Community leader to write about the matter, noting the following: “Maybe Cuba’s autocracy wants to follow Erdogan’s model and strong arm Greek Orthodox hierarchs into helping them whitewash its dismal human rights record, but Hellenes around the world stand with the people of Cuba as they strive for freedom & democracy. #CubaLibre #CubaSOS.”

Senator Menendez responded as follows: “The Cuban people will never forget the solidarity of their Hellenic brothers and sisters! Thank you for speaking truth to power.”

Tasos Zambas, vice president of PSEKA, who introduced Senator Robert Menendez to the Hellenic American Community, wrote: “If we are honorable, we cannot simply applaud Cuban-Americans when they fight for our rights – we must also fight for the rights of the Cuban people.”

It is emphasized that Elpidophoros had posted photos and captions from the visit of the Cuban Foreign Minister on the official website of the Archdiocese, but after the reaction of Senator Menendez and Community leaders, he removed them.


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