Havana: Christian priests in Cuba who also follow the beliefs and traditions of African slaves have said 2012 will be a year of disturbances, clashes and great social, political and economic changes, which could lead to the present world dying and another being born.
The Santeria priests` prophecies said the year will be governed by the sign of "Baba Ireti Meyi", which speaks of wars, transition and change, along with losses from old age, earthquakes, soaring temperatures and lethal matrimonial conflicts.
The ruling deity during the year will be "Oya", related to storms, soft breezes and deceased ancestors, and will be accompanied by "Oggun", known as the patron of the military and blacksmiths.
Santeria is a sythesis of Christianity with the beliefs and traditions of African slaves, and every letter and sign is linked to a story of the deities or "orishas" of people of the Yoruba community in West Africa.
The priests put forward certain recommendations that include taking care of locomotor and digestive ailments, while women are warned of menstrual irregularities and abortions.
They also referred to problems of infertility, increased infant mortality and a lower birth rate.
Among other recommendations were improved hygiene in hospitals, clean-up campaigns to prevent epidemics and environmental pollution, avoiding promiscuity and slander, as well as taking special care of children.
Some recommendations refer to some very current matters for Cuban society such as housing construction, learning a trade, attention to agriculture and a revision of criminal law.
One being asked how many believers and practicing members the Yoruba cult has in present-day Cuba, a priest named Lazaro Cuesta said no one has actually counted those numbers, but he believes that Yoruba priests serve about 80 percent of the Cuban population.