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Raul Castro Highlights Atmosphere of Mutual Understanding with Pope

Havana, Mar 29 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Raul Castro, said at the farewell ceremony of Pope Benedict XVI that his visit to the island took place in an atmosphere of mutual understanding.

In his speech at Jose Marti International Airport, the head of State stressed the existence of “many deep coincidences, but, of course, we do not think the same about all matters.”

“The Cuban people, with education, listened with attention every single word said by the Pope”; said Raul shortly before the departure of Benedict XVI to Rome.

Prensa Latina releases the speech by Raul Castro at the airport.

His Holiness:

Since your arrival in Cuba, our people has welcomed you, and now we say good bye with feelings of respect and affection.

Your visit has taken place in an atmosphere of mutual understanding. The meeting with Cubans has given you the opportunity to know us better and to verify the correctness of our purposes.

Cuba main objective is the full dignity of human beings. We are aware that this, is not only built on material basis, but also on spiritual values such as generosity, solidarity, a sense of justice, altruism, mutual respect, honesty and truth.

Creating common good was a principle we learned from Father Felix Varela. Then, Jose Marti wrote that “to be educated is the only way to be free” and called us “to conquer all the justice.”

We give supreme importance to the family, we encourage all that praises it, and we recognize parents role in children education. We take care of children as our greatest hope and encourage the youth, without paternalism, to participate in a free and creative way in the achievements of our society.

We recognize the patriotic contribution of Cuban immigration; from the decisive contribution to our independence of tobacco growers from Tampa and Key West and all those who supported José Martí aspirations, to those who fight against those who attack Cuba and manipulate immigration with political purposes.

We have made long efforts towards the full normalization of relations between Cuba and its immigrants; who love their country and their families, and we will persist in those efforts with our nation common will.

This is a just people that prides itself on the virtues of its five sons, who are condemned for faighting against terrorism and for defending the truth, which accompanies them every minute of their undeserved imprisonment and shares the feelings of their families who suffer.

Our country is satisfied to be among those who have done most for life, freedom, and human dignity.

We share the certainty that only mobilizing peoples consciences, mutual respect, dialogue and cooperation the world would find solutions to the most serious problems.

His Holiness:

We have found many deep coincidences, but, of course, we do not agree about all matters.

For your decision to visit us, for your affectionate feelings towards Cubans, that we will always remember, I express, on behalf of Cuba and myself, our deep gratitude and appreciation.

Thank you very much.

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