A group of Cuban santeria priests today revealed their traditional "Letter of the Year", a broad and cryptic text with predictions that predicts 2019 natural diseases and catastrophes, and recommends preventing problems with justice.
The babalawos (priests of Ifá or Santería) belonging to the Yoruba Cultural Association of Cuba met this year's end in the traditional ceremony where they elaborated their message of the beginning of the year, much awaited by the thousands of believers of the Afro-Cuban religions and also reproduced on social networks.
In a year that will be governed by the orisha or Ochún deity with Oggún as his companion, the prediction santera predicts that natural catastrophes and sea penetrations will occur that can cause floods and landslides, as well as an increase in migratory conflicts and problems in the agricultural sector.
Ochún is syncretized in Cuba with the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, patron saint of the island, and is for Santería the queen of fresh waters, streams, springs and rivers, and the personification of love and fertility, while Oggún He is the orisha who represents strength and work.
The Association, considered official by other groups practicing santería on the island, predicted that stomach and intestines diseases will increase, among others, and among their advice, warns about the danger of waste and advises to avoid the misuse of chemical products in the agriculture.
This religious group that has a headquarters in Havana, subsidiaries in provinces and also in 22 countries, urged to maintain an "adequate" religious ethic, respect the elderly, make better use of agricultural resources, be careful with the consent excessive of the parents towards the children and paying careful attention to their care and education.
In addition to exhorting to maintain a balance in "all the orders", the priests of Ifá warned about an increase in venereal diseases as a result of "sexual debauchery" and recommended not to self-medicate, a practice quite widespread among Cubans.
Afro-Cuban religion, one of the syncretic cults with the most practitioners in Cuba today, arrived on the island with African slaves at the end of the 18th century and has been passed down through generations by oral tradition.
Prayers, rituals, spells, dance, music and sacrifices are part of the religious legacy, which has one of its main components in divination.
Although it is a long-awaited tradition in the Caribbean country, the content of the "Letter of the Year" provoked special expectation from 2006, when Fidel Castro became seriously ill and left power, and the Cubans tried to find in these predictions some clue about the state of health of the revolutionary leader.