The Pope Francisco arrived in Havana at the start of his tour of Cuba and United States, and made a short speech to be received by Cuban President Raul Castro , which encouraged "to policymakers to continue along the path" the resumption of bilateral relations between the two countries .
the pontiff arrived in the island, where it will be three days and three masses held in Havana, Holguin and Santiago de Cuba; and later moved to the United States on a historical tour of the restoration of relations between the two countries.
is that late last year, the United States and Cuba began to normalize their bilateral relations after the key role of the Argentine pope in negotiations, as even he wrote himself letters to the leaders to harangue dialogue.
the Pope arrived in an Alitalia plane, with flags Cuban and Vatican waving at Jose Marti international airport, where he arrived seconds after 17 hours Argentina (16 Cuban).
Francisco was greeted by a shaken President of Cuba, who He expected to begin the official celebration held in the presence of hundreds of faithful who awaited his arrival with flags of Cuba and the Vatican, with a free role of young people who animated the day to chant "this is the youth of the Pope".
barely got off the plane, the skullcap of Pope flew through the air and just got up to pick it up, but not replaced it until Castro delivered his speech, preceded by hosting four children Cubans who presented him wreaths touched by the blessing of Francis, who embraced tenderly.
the official band of the Cuban Army sounded the arrival of Francisco, while a row of bishops hailed from the fiery Cuban asphalt, in front of a stage that was mounted with two chairs and a lectern for the presidents will pronounce his speeches.
the first to speak was Castro, who thanked Francisco "their support for dialogue between the United States and Cuba" because "the reestablishment of diplomatic relations was a first step in the process towards normalization of ties between the two countries."
also condemned the blockade running for more than 50 years Washington makes the island, arguing that "human damage and hardship caused to Cuban families is cruel, immoral and illegal, and must cease"; and claimed again that "the territory usurped the Naval Base at Guantanamo should be returned to Cuba."
The message of Francis advocated continuing the path of negotiations, after the "culture of encounter" This concept has become one of the pillars of his pontificate
"for several months we are witnessing an event that fills us with hope. the process of normalization of relations between two peoples after years distancing "said the pontiff.
" That is a sign of the victory of the culture of encounter, dialogue, system of universal enhancement over the system, dead forever, dynasty and groups "said the Pope quoting the writer José Martí.
Thus encouraged today," policy makers "of the" process of normalization of relations of peoples "Cuban and US to" continue on this path and develop their potential. "
This" as proof of the high service they are called to serve in favor of peace and well-being of their peoples in the Americas, and as an example of reconciliation for the whole world, in an atmosphere of WWIII in stages, "he said.
in another paragraph of his speech, celebrated" the 80th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Cuba and the Holy See, "noting previous papal visits of John Paul II, in 1998, and Benedict XVI, in 2012.
"I know your memory arouses gratitude and affection for the people and the authorities in Cuba," he said and stated " today we renew those ties of cooperation and friendship for the Church to continue to accompany and encourage the Cuban people in their hopes and their concerns. "
Under the slogan" Mission of Mercy ", Francisco today arrived in Cuba in the third visit of Pope Francisco to Latin America tour that will continue until Tuesday, when he will travel to the United States.
Upon leaving the airport, Francisco went on 'popemobile' to Havana, waving to hundreds of thousands . of faithful who cheered waving flags of Cuba and the Vatican, approaching its step in the journey of 25 kilometers