The Catholic Church trip to Cuba after fourteen years

Isabel Rivero Garzón, Victoria Gerbaudo Delfino, Olga Conde Martín, Estefanía Sánchez Martínez.

Benedict XVI, head of the Catholic Church, visited Cuba for a few days. With which they have arrested dozens of opposition members, including many Ladies in White, who was demanding the release of political prisoners and the speaker attempting to exploit the presence of the Pope to make their voices heard. At the same time, Castro’s regime was mobilizing to ensure that the Pope see in the streets of Santiago de Cuba and Havana a country suitable to their interests. Visit of Benedict XVI has raised expectations far less popular than was that of John Paul II in 1998, it is concluded that the possibility that results in changes in the relationship with the Cuban regime internal opposition is really minimal. In fact, it is not that the purpose of this papal trip.

The Holy See has been the central objective of the Pope to defend and strengthen the role of the Catholic Church on the island as a partner and even mediator with this communist regime. Pope Benedict said that “Marxism is no longer responding to the reality and need to find new models.” Words were quickly downplayed by the head of Cuban diplomacy and will not cause any confrontation with the authorities in Havana.

Benedict XVI is aware that the Church plays and has a big chance to develope such an important role in the Cuban political process. It’s very important not forgetting that the Cuban hierarchy has been featured since 2010 in order to produce the release of 126 political prisoners, many of which 2900 Cuban prisoners. Vatican diplomacy believes that this way of dialogue with the regime is more effective than express open and explicit backing the opposition. So the Pope has no plans on the agenda no meeting with opponents.

The leader of the Catholic Church had a meeting with Raul Castro, he propounded that Good Friday would be made an official holiday. Also he was chatting with Fidel Castro, who transferred the power to his brother. Castro has been out of power since 2006 but continues having an impact in the country’s politics.

The shocking visit of John Paul II in 1998 accelerated the process of reconciliation between the Church and the Cuban government after decades of friction. In this visit John Paul II Christmas was declared a national holiday. Now, the journey of his successor aims to strengthen ties gestated many use of media and religious education.

Pope called on Cubans to give effect to the faith and to the weapons of peace, forgiveness and understanding, “strive to build an open society and renewed, a better, more worthy of man”. Benedict XVI made this appeal in his homily at the Mass which acts on the square “Antonio Maceo” , attended by thousands of Cubans from all over the island and abroad.


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