News

    Pope Benedict Ends Cuba Visit

    Pope Benedict XVI concluded his first official visit to Cuba after meeting with former President Fidel Castro and holding a mass before a multitude gathered in Havana's Revolution Plaza. During his trip, which included a stop in Mexico, the pope called on Cuba's government to reconsider Marxism and urged the people to embrace the faith of their elders.

    They walked the last kilometer, and more, to witness Pope Benedict's mass.

    Photo Gallery

    In his homily, the pontiff spoke of his joy at the recent increase in freedom given to the Roman Catholic Church in Cuba. But he also referred to the isolation of a country that has been under a U.S. embargo for the past 50 years.

    “Cuba and the world need change, but this will occur only if each one is in a position to seek the truth and chooses the way of love, sowing reconciliation and fraternity,” he said.

    Before arriving in Cuba, Benedict called on the government to recognize that Marxism, in his words, “no longer corresponds to reality.”

    At a press conference on Tuesday, the official in charge of economic reforms, Vice President Marino Murillo, rejected the pope's critique.

    "In Cuba there won't be political reform,” he said.

    Marxist revolutionary heroes Ernesto “Che” Guevarra and Camilo Cienfuegos looked over their shoulders as they prayed to God.

    It was hot, even for Cubans, and it was hard to see from so far away. But it was still meaningful for Clara Martinez.

    “Having the pope in Cuba is very important for religious people. I think it's an unforgettable experience and may be the last time. It's not often that the pope visits," Martinez said.

    Catholics remember Pope John Paul II's visit in 1998. They are a small minority in Cuba, which has a variety of religious groups.

    The Vatican is hoping to win over the many Cubans who mix Catholic and African traditions.

    Katia Ogania may be prepared to convert.

    “I'm an atheist. But I wouldn't mind, because if it's for the good of my people. I'm there,” Ogania said.

    Many people came out of faith, many out of curiosity. But few expect that Benedict's visit will lead to any real political change.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Cha Cha Cohen
    April 08, 2012 3:26 AM
    Pope need not look back but to look forward. He should lecture the world leaders who are responsible for all the mishaps and injustices, killings and the wars in this world. There is no defender for the weaks and poors who are under the mercy of Pharao like mights! He should talk about fashionable occupied area,oppression and deprivation which are the root cause of all misery!

    by: Rachel
    April 05, 2012 3:46 PM
    He should of told Fidel to free Cuba Free Cuba they don't have anything he took everything from them even churches hit ... You know what he did god bless a man who kill so many people WHAT?????????

    by: Gab to Lucien Bonnet
    March 30, 2012 4:16 AM
    Haiti has been devastatingly poor for a very long time, with poor roads, poor buildings, and lack of food. Why are there all these nice Churches in Haiti, when Christian money and volunteers to teach Christianity should have been sending heavy equipment and volunteers to plow the fields, build sound structures for buildings, hospitals and schools and to make new roads. Even World Bank money, and billions given in charity should have been used for this purpose.

    by: Gab
    March 30, 2012 4:05 AM
    The Pope has a voice that actually reaches billions of people through these media events. He should loudly and visibly condemn twenty-eight conflicts and border wars around the world today involving repressive Islamic regimes. And to NVO, throughout the Holocaust, Pius XII was consistently besieged with pleas for help on behalf of the Jews. The papacy did nothing, and said nothing condemning the Nazis.

    by: NVO
    March 29, 2012 3:50 PM
    At Pentecost the Holy Spirit was sent to be the Comforter. NOT a pope! Peter is NOT the rock, Christ is=1Cor 10:4. The idea of a pope is NOT Biblical! You make the Word of God of NONE EFFECT through your traditions=Mark 7:13. The RC church is a CONFIRMED Amillennial/Replacement Theology church. Both doctrines based on and rooted in ANTI-SEMITISM. HIDEOUS!

    by: Lucien BONNET
    March 28, 2012 6:48 PM
    LETTER TO POPE JOHN PAUL II

    Various political comments were issued when the news of your trip to Haiti, . It leads people to reflect on the vast, ever-present aspect of the relations between the West and the Black world: anti-Black prejudices in Christianity and Science.

    Consider racial conflicts in the United States, for instance.

    Lucien BONNET
    www.contact-canadahaiti.ca

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora