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Cuban Authorities Remove Illegal Occupants from Church

The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, in this capital.Havana, Mar 16 (Prensa Latina) Cuban authorities, at the request of the Archbishopric of Havana, removed a group of 13 persons who illegally occupied the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, in this capital.

According to a press release from the religious institution, the measure was taken after over 48 hours of uninterrupted and non-authorized stay within the temple by those persons.

Despite the Church’s unilateral efforts to end that situation, the illegal occupants expressed a negative response at every moment, the note states.

For that reason, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, using his authority and faculty, addressed the relevant authorities so that they invite the illegal occupants to abandon the Sanctuary and the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Charity in Havana, the document says.

The proposal of those people to be visited by authorities to receive guarantee for their security was also taken into account.

The action to end the occupation began on Thursday at 21:00 hours, local time (02:00 GMT), and lasted less than 10 minutes.

The religious institution stated on Thursday that such an action was part of a prepared, coordinated strategy devised by groups in several regions of the country with the purpose of triggering critical situations as Pope Benedict XVI´s visit to Cuba nears.

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