Published January 03, 2011
Fox News Latino

Havana – Cuba’s Santeria priests, known as “babalawos,” recommended Monday in their traditional New Year’s message the elimination of “old political schemes in order to benefit from a new social order.”

The organizing commission of the so-called “Letter of the Year” published in Havana its predictions of “great possibilities” in 2011, a year under the sign of Baba Eyiobe, or “double salvation.”

This year the reigning deity will be Oggun, patron of blacksmiths and of the military, and will be accompanied by Oshun, who in the Yoruba cult is the divinity associated with maternity and the protection of children.

In Santeria, a sythesis of Christianity with the beliefs and traditions of African slaves, every letter and sign is linked to a story of the deities or “orishas” of the Yoruba pantheon, who speak through it to communicate a teaching or recommendation.

Just as last year, the letter for 2011 predicts sudden changes in political systems, the danger of wars and military interventions, and the deaths of public figures.

It also warns of environmental problems related to climate change, including fierce droughts and rising seas.

In the economic sphere, the Cuban babalawos predict a trade opening, an increase in exports and imports, and a good outlook for fishing and the merchant marine.

As for health, the letter indicates that in 2011 one must beware of strokes, respiratory ailments like tuberculosis, as well as bone and eye problems.

In presenting the letter, babalawo Lazaro Cuesta said that this year – marked by economic reforms promoted by the Raul Castro government – it will be very important that there exist “harmony between head and body,” meaning between the leaders and the people.

He also stressed the need to give “fresh minds and new ideas” a chance.

The letter also recommends restoring the family as the core of society, recovering lost ethical values and caring for the elderly.

For 25 years the Santeria priests of this commission have met every Dec. 31 in Havana to define, in their Letter of the Year, the principles that will rule the new year as a guide and counsel for the people.

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