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Pope heads to Cuba after Mexico visit

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 01:42

March 26 - Pope Benedict XVI holds a prayer session on his last night in Mexico as Havana prepares for his arrival. Jessica Gray reports.

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Pope Benedict waves to thousands crowding the streets in Guanajuato, Mexico. On Sunday, he held an early evening prayer service with Mexican and other Latin American members of the church. During the service, the Pope addressed the country's ongoing drug-related violence -- and offered words of encouragement. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) POPE BENEDICT XVI "Certainly your dioceses face a number of challenges and difficulties at the present moment. Yet, in the sure knowledge that the Lord is risen, we are able to move forward confidently, in the conviction that evil does not have the last word in human history." On the last day of his three-day visit to the state, the Pope was treated to a show over the Christ the King bronze statue. The Pope's next stop is Cuba, where residents and officials are preparing for his arrival with anticipation. A French-Italian artist turned Havana's cathedral into a shining wonder in the Pope's honour. But not everyone is celebrating. Dissident groups accuse President Castro's government of flouting human rights and suppressing their voices. The Ladies in White activist group says it has been targeted by the government in raids and arrests to stop members from attending papal events. The group plans to attend the events anyway to protest the incarceration of anti-government dissidents and political prisoners. Latin America is home to half of the world's Catholic population and this is only the second time Pope Benedict has visited the region. Jessica Gray, Reuters

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Pope heads to Cuba after Mexico visit

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 01:42