HAVANA TIMES, March 28 — Calling for “respect and the greater freedom” in Cuba as well as an end to the US economic blockade on the island, Pope Benedict XVI bid farewell after his three-day visit.
Before boarding his plane bound for Rome, Benedict said: “I now conclude my pilgrimage, but I will continue praying fervently that you will go forward and that Cuba will be the home of all and for all Cubans, where justice and freedom coexist in a climate of serene fraternity.”
Cuban President Raul Castro accompanied the Pope at the airport.
Earlier in the day, Joseph Ratzinger conducted an open-air Mass in the emblematic Plaza of the Revolution in the heart of Havana. He did the same in Santiago de Cuba on Monday.
Following the service with hundreds of thousands of Cubans and a national TV audience, the Pope met for a half hour with former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
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