Reposted from The Irish Examiner
A crowd attend a mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI at the Revolution Square in Santiago de Cuba
Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cuba in the footsteps of his more famous predecessor, gently pressing the island’s long-time communist leaders to push through “legitimate” reforms their people desire.
In contrast to the raucous welcome Benedict received in Mexico, his arrival in Cuba’s second city of Santiago was relatively subdued. President Raul Castro greeted him at the airport with a 21-cannon salute and a goose-stepping military honour guard, but few ordinary Cubans lined the motorcade route into town and the Pope barely waved from his glassed-in vehicle. More…
Reposted from The Economist
Change is coming to Cuba at last. The United States could do far more to encourage it
IN 1998 Pope John Paul II visited Cuba, prompting outsiders to await a political opening of the kind that brought down communism in his native Poland. Sadly, even two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Cuba remains one of the handful of countries around the world where communism lives on. Illness forced Fidel Castro to step down in 2006, but his slightly younger brother, Raúl, is in charge, flanked by a cohort of elderly Stalinists. When Pope Benedict XVI visits the island next week, expectations will be more muted. More…
Reposted from CNBC
By Michelle Caruso-Cabrera
AVANA — Cuba is a surrealist’s dream: mile after mile of gorgeous, yet dilapidated architecture; streets dominated by automobiles from the 1950s, filled with people on cell (not smart) phones; only 90 miles from the United States and yet a place where people live without the Internet.
On the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba, More…