[Marxism] President Fidel Castro Pays Tribute to Pope John Paul II
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Sun Aug 28 14:31:33 MDT 2005
Havana, Apr 5 (Prensa Latina) Cuba´s President Fidel Castro praised
Pope John Paul II for his support of world peace and defense of the
poor before joining other government officials, diplomats and church
leaders at Havana´s Cathedral for a funeral Mass in honor to the late
Before attending mass, led by Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Fidel
Castro, dressed in a dark suit and tie, signed the condolence book at
the Papal Nunciature, the Vatican Embassy in Havana, where he
highlighted the Pope as a fighter for peace and the poor.
"Rest in peace, tireless fighter for friendship among peoples, enemy
of war and friend of the poor," Castro wrote in the condolences book
at the Papal Nunciature, the Vatican´s mission in Havana.
Accompanied by his brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro, and Foreign
Minister Felipe Perez Roque, President Castro also recalled John Paul
as an "unforgettable friend" who would be remembered on the island for
speaking out against the U.S. blockade during his January 1998 visit.
"This earned you the gratitude and the affection of all Cubans
forever," Castro wrote.
The Cuban president also wrote that the efforts by those who wanted to
use the pontiff´s prestige and enormous spiritual authority against
the just cause of the Cuban people in their struggle against the giant
empire (the United States) were in vain.
Fidel Castro underlined, "you visited us in difficult times and you
were able to feel the nobility, spirit of solidarity and moral value
of the people who welcomed you with special respect and affection".
Before signing the book, he finished his tribute stressing: "we wish
fervently that your example lives forever".
Cuban Army General and First Vice President Raul Castro had previously
signed the condolences book in which he wrote, "John Paul II, His
Holiness, fought in favor of the poor, struggled for peace. We will
remember him with respect and profound friendship."
The Cuban government has declared three days of national mourning for
the Pope´s death and canceled all recreational and festive events. The
Cuban flag is flying at half mast in all public buildings and military
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