Yesterday afternoon, Pope Benedict XVI arrived to Cuba, where received by President Raul Castro and the Cuban Catholic hierarchy led by Cardinal Jaime Ortega and Archbishop of the area, Dionisio Garcia.
Benedict said: “I bear in my heart the just aspirations and legitimate desires of all Cubans, wherever they are. Your sufferings and joys, your concerns and aspirations nobler, especially of the young and the elderly, teenage and children, the sick and workers, prisoners and their families and the poor and needy. “
In the welcoming speech to Pope Benedict XVI, President Castro emphasized the “close relationship” between the Holy See and your country.
Hundreds of pilgrims from the United States, mostly Cubans, traveled to Cuba on a trip organized by the Archdiocese of Miami, while exile groups vowed to monitor the repression of dissent, so the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and Reconciliation national denounced the detention of at least 150 opponents, which he attributed to an attempt to prevent protest during the Pope’s visit.