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Walesa backs Cuban democracy activists' plea for meeting with Pontiff

Catholic World News - March 20, 2012

Former Polish President Lech Walesa has asked Pope Benedict XVI to meet with political opponents of the Castro regime during his visit to Cuba later this month.

Walesa, the leader of the Solidarity labor movement in Poland during the 1980s, wrote to remind the Pope of how his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, strengthened Polish activists with his statements of support. “I have no doubt that without those words of the Pope, without his presence, the birth of Solidarity would not have been possible,” Walesa said.

In a letter to the Pontiff, Walesa urged him to “take up the defense of those Cubans who are demanding freedom at the risk of persecutions and humiliations.”

The Vatican has indicated that the Pope will not meet with democracy activists during his visit to Cuba.

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