Cuba: Pope Benedict XVI Takes a Glance at Cuba's Future

The arrival at Santiago de Cuba of Pope Benedict XVI placed the Caribbean nation in the Twitter Trending Topics. Raúl Castro and the name of the western province were among the most consulted topics yesterday afternoon.

After his arrival, President Raúl Castro gave the Pope a welcome speech in which he ensured:

Cuba lo recibe con afecto y respeto y se siente honrada con su presencia. Encontrará aquí a un pueblo solidario e instruido que se ha propuesto alcanzar toda la justicia y ha hecho grandes sacrificios.

Cuba receives you with affection and respect and it is honored with your presence. You will find here a solidary and educated community that has taken upon itself the objective of reaching all the justice and has made a lot of sacrifices.

Pope Benedicto XVI arriving in Cuba. Photo by Ismael Francisco. Republished with the permission of Cubadebate.

Pope Benedicto XVI arriving in Cuba. Photo by Ismael Francisco. Republished with the permission of Cubadebate.

Meanwhile, Benedict XVI ended his arrival speech declaring:

Estoy convencido de que Cuba, en este momento especialmente importante de su historia, está mirando ya al mañana, y para ello se esfuerza por renovar y ensanchar sus horizontes, a lo que cooperará ese inmenso patrimonio de valores espirituales y morales que han ido conformando su identidad más genuina.

I'm convinced that Cuba, in this specially important moment of its history, is looking at the future. And by doing so, it is fighting to renew and widen its horizons with the cooperation of the spiritual and moral values that have shaped its most genuine identity.

Netizens on the web are reproducing the songs that are being heard at Plaza Antonio Maceo in the province of Santiago where most of the people are wearing white shirts.

Si el Papa no viene a Camaguey, a donde vaya, me voy con él.

If the Pope doesn't come to Camaguey, I will go wherever he goes.

In a Facebook consult [es] made by the author, several young Cubans expressed their views on the Pope's visit.

According to the blogger Olemis Lang [es]:

Comparo esta venida del Papa con la de Juan Pablo II y las conclusiones son que aquella estuvo mucho más participativa.

I compare this Pope's visit with the one made by John Paul II and the conclusions are that the latter was more popular.

Amaya Terry [es] mentioned that there has been “an over saturated coverage by all the media”. As for John Paul's visit 14 years ago, she pointed out:

No tengo muchas expectativas con este Papa, realmente no me hace ilusión; pero siempre se espera algo aunque muy en el fondo. El entusiasmo que existía con Juan Pablo II, éste nunca lo logrará en Cuba, aunque todos estemos orgullosos de recibirlos “con afecto y respeto”, la simpatía que dejó Juan Pablo II en nosotros es insuperable!!!

I do not have many expectations for this Pope, really he doesn't thrill me; but deep inside something is always expected. The enthusiasm that John Paul II generated will never be achieved by this Pope, even if we are all proud to welcome them with “affection and respect.” The charm that John Paul II left is unbeatable!!!

Here we present a video with the first moments of the Pope in Cuba.

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