Cuba’s ambassador to the Vatican Eduardo Delgado Bermudez said “the greatest hope” Cubans have is that Pope Benedict “will leave happy after his visit” as Blessed John Paul II did.
Bermudez told EWTN News on Jan. 18 that the Pope’s March 26-28 trip “is of great importance for the region, for Latin America and for Cuba.”
The ambassador said all Cubans, “including the government,” are awaiting the Pope “with joy, affection and respect.”
“For government officials it will be a chance to welcome the head of the Catholic Church, the Supreme Pontiff, and to talk,” he added.
“I think it will have a positive impact with regards to the relationship between the state, the government and the Church in Cuba, with the Holy See.”
Bermudez recalled the positive impact of the historic visit made by Blessed John Paul II in 1998, noting that the late pontiff was “the first Pope to visit Cuba and it was a milestone in relations with the Church.”
“For example, one of the results of that visit was that Christmas became a national holiday again,” he said. John Paul II’s visit also “profoundly impacted him, as he later said himself,” Bermudez noted.