FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
THE bishops of Cuba arc asking leaders of other countries for help in ending the fiveyear blockade of their country.
They say in a pastoral letter that there is an acute shortage of basic foodstuffs, due to internal difficulties as well as the blockade.
"We denounce the unjust conditions of the blockade," the letter says, "which is contributing to unnecessary suffering, and to making all efforts at development more difficult."It is signed by all the eight bishops now serving in Cuba. The economic blockadk was imposed in 1964 after a itolution by the Organisatian of American States recommending its member States to break off diplomatic relations with -Cuba and end all trade. The resolution exempted, "on humanitarian grounds," medicines, foodstuffs and certain nonstrategic goods.
All OAS countries complied with the blockade except Mexico. Castro's regime then increased its trade with Britain, Canada. Japan and Spain, but also became dependent on the Soviet Union's economic aid and trade.
GIFTS REJECTED Food, clothing and medicines were sent to Cuba by certain governments and private groups, but the Castro regime rejected or confiscated the shipments, saying they were being used for propaganda and antirevolutionary activities.
The pastoral letter, which was read in all churches, includes quotations from Pope Paul's encyclical The Development of Peoples," from the Medellin guidelines on Church renewal and socio-economic policies of the general assembly of Latin American bishops in that Colombian city last September, and from the addresses of Pope Paul during the Bogota Eucharistic Congress.