Like his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cuba at a crucial time in the nation’s history. Pope John Paul II visited in 1998, a time when Communist Europe had crumbled and expectations of change were high; Pope Benedict XVI landed during a time of unprecedented internal change.

On Monday, the pontiff arrived in a country that for the first time in 50 years has a different president, is undergoing crucial economic reform and—most importantly—has witnessed fundamental societal changes. While the island is still ruled by a single party that routinely tramples on human rights and individual freedoms, the Cuba of today has also openly recognized the failure of its current economic model, has encouraged its citizens to openly debate the need for change, and has even recognized the legitimate role of Cubans living abroad in Cuba’s future. None of this was true 14 years ago when John Paul II visited.

Expectations of change in Cuba are higher today than at any time in the past half-century. Most experts—on the island and abroad—agree that further change is inevitable and that the recent reforms are irreversible. Benedict XVI may lack the charisma and anti-communist credentials of his predecessor, but the Holy Father’s presence alone—and his message of reconciliation—will no doubt facilitate the additional reform we would all like to see in Cuba....

News Center

Date Title
3/30/12 Current Record
3/30/12 Miami archbishop returns from Cuba pope visit
AP, The Wall Street Journal
3/30/12 Cuban-Americans traveling to homeland see hope in future
AP, Fox News
3/30/12 Judging Cuba's Cardinal Ortega and Pope Benedict's Trip to the Island
Anya Landau French, The Huffington Post
3/29/12 Pope urges greater openings in vast Cuban Mass
Anne-Marie Garcia and Nicole Winfield, AP
3/29/12 Flotilla shoots off fireworks near Cuba
Cammy Clark, The Miami Herald
3/29/12 Analysis: Pope, Castros talked past each other
Paul Haven, AP
3/29/12 Pope Benedict calls for ‘change’ after three days in Cuba
Franco Ordonez and Dan Chang, The Miami Herald
3/29/12 Full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s farewell speech at Jose Marti Airport
Vatican Radio
3/28/12 Cuban-American, father make emotional return to family home in Havana during papal pilgrimage
The Washington Post
3/28/12 Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski gets standing ovation for sermon at Havana Cathedral
The Washington Post
3/28/12 Fidel Castro asks for 'modest and simple' meeting with pope
3/28/12 Papal visit sparks hope in Cuba
BBC News
3/28/12 Pope plays politics with Castro
John Paul Rathbone, Financial Times
3/28/12 Cuban-Americans debate merits of pope's visit
AJ Goodwin, NBC News
3/28/12 Pope arrives in Havana; Cuban officials disavow political reform
Daniel Chang and Nancy San Martin, The Miami Herald
3/28/12 Pope prays for freedom, 'renewal' in Cuba
Peter Orsi and Andrea Rodriguez, AP
3/28/12 Cuban Official Rules Out Reforms Urged by Pope
Randal C. Archibold and Rachel Donadio, The New York Times
3/28/12 Cuban businessmen see freedom on the horizon
Byron Pitts, CBS News
3/27/12 The pope, political prisoners and Cuba
CNN Belief Blog -
3/27/12 Papal visit to Cuba spurs talk of jailed U.S. contractor
CNN Belief Blog -
3/27/12 ‘We must build a bridge over that ocean’
Andy Gomez, The Miami Herald
3/27/12 Pope Benedict XVI calls for ‘reconciliation’ on his visit to Cuba
Mimi Whitefield, Kevin Hall and Franco Ordonez, The Miami Herald
3/27/12 Benedict prays to Cuba patron Virgin of Charity
Andra Rodriguez and Peter Orsi, The Miami Herald
3/26/12 Pope 'could reinforce' church in state-atheist Cuba
BBC News
3/26/12 Cuba’s Ladies in White march without incident in Havana, but report detentions of others
Franco Ordonez and Juan Tamayo, The Miami Herald
3/25/12 Cuban-Americans head to Cuba for pope's visit
Associated Press
3/24/12 Cuba replaces senior revolutionary figure
Peter Orsi, The Miami Herald
3/24/12 Pope Benedict: communism no longer working in Cuba
3/24/12 Revolution in retreat
Michael Reid, The Economist
3/23/12 Pope's trip sparks hopes for change in Cuba
Jeff Franks, Reuters
3/22/12 Miami-Dade attorney: Florida law restricting hiring of companies with business ties to Cuba 'inoperative'
Naked Politics, The Miami Herald
3/22/12 Amnesty International: Short-term detentions of Cuban dissidents accelerate
Mimi Whitefield, The Miami Herald
3/22/12 US panel on religious freedom reports Cuban violations
Juan Tamayo, The Miami Herald
3/22/12 Vatican: Pope's Cuba trip should help democracy
Nicole Winfield, The Miami Herald
3/22/12 Is Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism? Let’s get real, State Department
Brigadier Gen. John Adams and David W. Jones, The Hill
3/22/12 Dissident Cuban Blogger Sees Opportunity in Pope Visit
VOA News
3/21/12 A Cuban's Prayer for Pope Benedict
Oscar Elias Biscet, The Wall Street Journal
3/21/12 Miami exiles soften on pope's Cuba visit
Reuters, Chicago Tribune
3/21/12 More than 800 to participate in Miami archdiocese pilgrimage to Cuba
Mimi Whitfield and Daniel Shoer Roth, The Miami Herald
3/21/12 Cuba says opposition trying to disrupt papal trip
AP, The Miami Herald
3/21/12 Pope Benedict and the road to reconciliation
Michael Putney, The Miami Herald
3/20/12 Cuban dissident leader free after brief detention
Andrea Rodriguez, The Miami Herald
3/20/12 Cuban spy convicted in Miami can travel home to visit sick brother
El Nuevo Herald
3/20/12 Pope’s visit to Cuba unites and divides
Carlos Alberto Montaner, The Miami Herald
3/20/12 Can the Pope bring hope to Cubans?
Editorial Opinion, The Washington Post
3/19/12 Many hope Pope will address religious education, dissidents and more during trip to Cuba
Miami Herald, Mimi Whitfield
3/19/12 Cuba detains 70 Ladies in White ahead of pope visit
3/19/12 Dialogue with Cuba as ‘contact sport’
Jose Manuel Palli, Miami Herald
3/17/12 Cuba's government offers state workers paid time off to see Pope Benedict XVI during visit
The Washington Post
3/8/12 Cuba to skip regional summit, averting diplomatic flap
3/7/12 US doesn't expect Cuba upheaval: general
3/5/12 Cuban farm produced milk, with the help of corrupt government workers
Juan Tamayo, The Miami Herald
3/1/12 Issue #8: With pain but without glory
From the Island, Oscar Espinosa Chepe