Beneath looming images of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and the Virgin Mary, Pope Benedict XVI today stood in Revolution Square in Havana, issuing a ringing call for “authentic freedom” to hundreds of thousands of Cubans.
With President Raúl Castro sitting in the front row (and a meeting with Fidel Castro scheduled later in the day) the Pope asserted in his outdoor Mass, “The truth is a desire of the human person, the search for which always supposes the exercise of authentic freedom.”
The Mass was the culmination of a three-day visit to Cuba meant to shore up support for the Roman Catholic Church there.
Cuban government workers were given a day of paid vacation to attend events celebrating first trip to the island for a Pontiff in 14 years.
(WATCH the video below, or READ the story in the New York Times)