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Squares in Cuba are Ready to Welcome Pope
Cuba ready to receive Pope
Pope Benedict XVI will be soon in Cuba to offer two masses scheduled to take place in Santiago de Cuba and Havana. Additional flights to Cuba have been arranged for pilgrims who want to see the Pope during his visit to the island.
The two most important cities in the entire Cuban archipelago, Santiago de Cuba and Havana, are now ready to welcome Pope Benedict XVI in their main public squares. Additional flights to Cuba are available from the United States and Mexico to follow papal visit.
The Antonio Maceo Square, located in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, and the Revolution Square in Havana, where the Pope will offer his long awaited masses, are almost ready with the altars set up.
"The result of these works is the joint effort between several state-owned agencies and the Catholic Church, every single detail was determined like this, combined," said a Cuban news programme on TV. Pilgrims will meet at these two squares "to show their affection, their support, and now also the respect we have always been taught to profess", it added.
Pope Benedict XVI will be the second pontiff to travel to Cuba after the historic visit made by Pope John Paul II in 1998. The visit of the new Pope on 23rd and 26th March 2012 coincides now with the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgen of La Caridad del Cobre (Our Lady Virgin of the Charity), Cuba's patron saint, said to have been seen in the Bay of Nipe in 1612 in the eastern part of the country.
The Pope will visit first the city of Santiago de Cuba, the second most important city in the island after Havana, famous for its people's rebel legacy during the Cuban independence wars and perfect for enjoying adventure-filled eco Cuba holidays.
Then he will move on to Havana, the island's capital city and the main economical, political and religious centre in the country, which has also become one of the most popular tourist hotspots and holiday destinations for cultural holidays in Cuba. Out of the total of foreign tourists who travel to the Caribbean island, over 70 per cent visited at least one of Havana's fascinating tourist attractions.
The archdiocese of Miami expressed satisfaction last month after receiving 1,000 requests to reserve seats on flights to the largest island in the Caribbean for the papal visit. International sources state that special tourist packages that will take pilgrims to Santiago and Havana have been purchased for the three-day visit.