Priests: Santeria is Rx to Heal Hugo Chavez

Santeria is pretty awesome. Santeria and other West Africa Diasporic Religions, also called ATR (African Traditional Religion), are fluid, adaptable, and from my perspective, effective, so Hugo Chavez might do well to heed the words of the Cuban babalawo (priests) who in their annual New Year “Letter of the Year” recommended that the Venezuelan President seek them out. Lazaro Cuesta, one of the babalawo said their priests are willing:

Whichever house he knocks upon, I expect he will receive the help he requires.

From the perspective of Santeria, Cuesta was referring not only to physical domiciles of the priests, but also to the casas (houses or worship) of the orisha, the Afro-Cuban gods, and the various lineages within each orisha’s worship, with their own initiated priest.

Chavez is currently in Cuba recovering from surgery for cancer; the type of cancer has not been reported. The babalawo will not perform a healing ritual for Chavez unless they are asked. Technically, someone aside from Chavez could ask for his healing, in the same way that Masses can be offered for someone by another.

Eleggua is the road opener and the messenger of the gods, and is syncreticized with Jesus, especially in the aspect of  the Infant of Atocha, and thus his altars often are decorated with toys and games, as well as the traditional rum and cigars. San Lazaro/St. Lazarus represents Babalú-Ayé, the orisha in charge of health and disease, especially epidemics, cancer, HIV/AIDS.

Sean Penn Played Part in Hikers’ Release from Iran

Sources close to actor Sean Penn confirmed that the actor played a huge part in the release of hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer from an Iranian prison where they had been held for over two years. The duo, along with friend Sarah Shourd, were captured by Iranian troops and charged with espionage when they got lost hiking along the Iraq-Iran border.

Penn is close friends with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.  Reuters reported

Chavez  urged his ally, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to release the hikers after the South American leader was lobbied by pals in U.S. “intellectual circles.

Fattal and Bauer were released on $500,000 “bail” each after eight-year sentences were delivered in August, 2011.

Shourd’s bail was the same, but she did not go to trial and was released in 2010 on humanitarian grounds.

photo: screen shot, Sean Penn on Charlie Rose

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