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Pope lauds freedom, raps US embargo, before leaving Cuba

March 29, 2012

“Cuba, look to the faith of your elders,” Pope Benedict XVI said as he prepared to leave the island nation on March 28.

At an airport ceremony Wednesday evening before his departure for Rome, the Holy Father said that he had traveled to Cuba to help people “discover the true meaning of the desires and aspirations found in the human heart and gain the strength needed to build a fraternal society in which no one feels excluded.” He added:

The path which Christ points out to humanity, and to each particular individual and people, is not a source of constraint, but rather the primary and principal premise for their authentic development.

During his final remarks the Pope repeated his call for change in Cuban society, and for a recognition of human freedom. He also renewed his criticism of the US embargo, saying that the country’s struggles are “worsened when restrictive economic measures, imposed from outside the country, unfairly burden its people.”

Pope Benedict arrived safely back in Rome early on Thursday morning.


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