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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Grand Lodge of Cuba Votes To Expel Sitting Grand Master Mario Carreño

by Christopher Hodapp

On Sunday, the assembled brethren of the Gran Logio de Cuba de AL&AM (Grand Lodge of Cuba) voted to expel their sitting Grand Master, Mario Alberto Urquía Carreño. From the HavanaLive website translated from 14YMedio.com on March 24th:

(Havana) The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Cuba, Mario Alberto Urquía Carreño, has been expelled by the representatives of more than 300 lodges on the Island, shouting “Out with a thief, usurper, scoundrel, traitor.” The events occurred on Sunday, when Urquía, who continued to hold office after the controversial theft of $19,000 from his office, was preparing to preside over the semi-annual session of the Masonic Upper House.

The information, reported by CubaNet, was confirmed to 14ymedio this Monday by Ángel Santiesteban, a 33rd degree Mason – the highest step in the order’s hierarchy – and an independent journalist, who could not attend the event but knows the facts.

In his opinion, whoever succeeds the Grand Master – predictably the Deputy Grand Master, Gerardo Cepero Díaz, critical of Urquía – will stop the interference of State Security in the lodge, something that leaves room for optimism.

The Freemasons considered that Urquía was illegally carrying out the position, since on January 25th he was expelled by the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for the Republic of Cuba for his alleged “betrayal.”

A witness to what happened this Sunday told CubaNet that the Grand Master refused to leave the room, but he had to do so due to the almost unanimous demand of the representatives of the lodges.

“There was a lot of indignation accumulated over the actions of the Grand Master. “He came out saying that he would call the Registry of Associations (of the Ministry of Justice) to complain, but they have no authority here,” he said.

“That had never happened in Cuban Freemasonry,” he added, “not the painful aftermath of the robbery, nor the blatant interference of State Security, nor the expulsion of an acting Grand Master. “Today is the day of shame, the day in which Cuban Freemasons demonstrate our autonomy and integrity.”

The Grand Lodge had expelled Urquía for his “punishable and intentional” conduct, despite the fact that his responsibility in the theft of the money – which belonged to the Llansó National Masonic Asylum, in the Havana municipality of Arroyo Naranjo – is still being investigated. 

The Supreme Council then considered that his “entrenchment” was, in addition, leaving as a consequence a “major Masonic schism in the national territory.”

Urquía continued to cling to the position, despite the rejection of a large majority of Freemasons, some of whom had asked the United States to eventually deny him possible entry into the country for “being an active collaborator of the intelligence agencies of the regime of Cuba”.

This was stated by a Freemason residing in Colombia, Pompilio Portuondo, on his Facebook account, where he added the names of some alleged “collaborators.”

“Gradually we will continue to bring to light more names of people who are collaborating with Mario Alberto Urquia and all the HH (brothers) who in one way or another have hidden, supported, or support Mr. Mario Alberto Urquia Carreño in the next session of the Masonic Upper Chamber of the Grand Lodge on Sunday, March 24.

We will expose it to the knowledge of the entire international community and especially in the United States so that they are denied entry as agents of the regime,” he said.

According to CubaNet, once Urquía’s departure was achieved, and under the transitional presidency of the former Grand Master, Ernesto Zamora, all the Decrees that Urquía had formed after January 25 to date were challenged, “including those in which he sent to the Court to those who had confronted him.”

It remains to be known what will happen to José Ramón Viñas Alonso, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the 33rd degree, who was expelled from Freemasonry for seven years by a ruling by the Supreme Court of Masonic Justice of Cuba on Thursday, February 22.

His “punishment” was interpreted by many as revenge by Urquía Carreño against Viñas, for having reported the theft of the $19,000 in dispute.

1 comment:

  1. In 2018, the Grand Lodge of Texas AF&AM withdrew fraternal recognition of the Grand Lodge of Cuba. A letter dated 6 Sep 2017, from the Grand Secretary of Florida, Richard E. Lynn, addressed to all U.S. grand lodges, reported that the GL of Cuba had invaded the territorial jurisdiction of Florida by assisting the GL of the Antilles and the GL of Cuba in the Exterior (both irregular) in the creation of a third irregular grand lodge located in Miami. This new irregular grand lodge is the Grand Lodge Unida Cubana. These irregular grand lodges in amity with the GL of Cuba have irregular lodges throughout the U.S., including Illinois, California, New Jersey, Florida and Texas. Based on this and other information about the GL of Cuba, the Grand Lodge of Texas voted to withdraw recognition from the GL of Cuba. Since then, the Fraternal Relations Committee of the Grand Lodge of Texas has received additional information about the infiltration of the GL of Cuba by intelligence officers of the Cuban government, some of whom have been elected to high-ranking officers in the GL of Cuba. –– P.G. Pete Normand, Chairman, Fraternal Relations Committee, Grand Lodge of Texas


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