*Raul Castro, on Pope Francis’ work for Cuba-U.S. détente: “I read all the speeches of the pope, his commentaries, and if the pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the church, and I’m not joking.” VL
VATICAN CITY (AP) – For 30 years, the Cuba’s Communist regime battled the Catholic Church for the hearts and minds of ordinary citizens, imposing restriction after restriction on the Church’s activities.
In 1962, Fidel Castro even banned Christmas, proclaiming it just another work day on which to push for a record sugar harvest.
Now, after more than a decade of softening its stance, Cuba has come full circle and Fidel’s brother, Raúl, the current president of the island nation, has stated that he will be returning to the Church.
Castro paid a call Sunday on Pope Francis at the Vatican to thank him for working for Cuban-U.S. détente.
“I read all the speeches of the pope, his commentaries, and if the pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the church, and I’m not joking,” he said.
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