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A che Guevara picture overlooking the Pope's visit to Cuba

JPII says Mass under a gigantic billboard of Che Guevara

January 25, 1998 - John Paul II says the final Mass of his visit to Cuba in Havana's Revolution Square. The altar faces a 20-story-high icon of Che Guevara, above. Behind the altar is a freshly painted picture of Christ, below left.

Framed by these two paintings is Pope Wojtyla, who attacked the U.S. embargo against Communist Cuba in his homily, saying that "unsustainable economic programs are imposed on nations as conditions for further assistance."

He also repeated the classic Communist jargon against the Western economic system: "We thus see a small number of countries growing exceedingly rich at the cost of the increasing impoverishment of a great number of other countries. As a result, the rich become richer, while the poor become poorer."

In several speeches, Fidel Castro explained to his grassroots that the reason for the Pope's visit to Cuba was to help him try to lift the American economic embargo.

Castro was grateful for this effort of John Paul II, and wrote these words in the condolence book after his death: "Before returning to Rome you said that the restrictive economic measures imposed from outside the country were unjust and ethically unacceptable. That earned you forever the gratitude and affection of all Cubans, who pay you a deserved tribute" (Granma International online, April 4, 2005).

Pictures of JP II on his visit to Cuba

All photos Havana TV online
Posted November 27, 2005

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