Cuba declares national mourning for Pope

Campaign News | Tuesday, 5 April 2005

Fidel sends message of condolence

Havana, Apr 3 (Prensa Latina) Following the death of Pope John Paul II, Cuba declared a three-day national mourning including the suspension of the National Baseball Series playoffs, activities for the Young Communist League and Jose Marti Organization anniversaries.

According to the Cuban Council of State decree, the mourning starts Sunday through Tuesday, and the national flag will remain half hoisted in public and military centers.

It explained that the Pope was a notable world celebrity who indefatigably defended peace and a solution to social woes, and openly criticized liberalism and wars.

"His Sanctity paid a historic visit to our country on January 21-25 1998, when the Cuban people and government respectfully and joyfully received him," indicates the communiqué.

During the visit, the Supreme Pontiff strongly condemned "the restrictive measures imposed from the outside," and termed them unjust and unacceptable.

Message from Cuban President Fidel Castro Ruz on the death of Pope John Paul II

His Eminence the Most Reverend Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo, Camerlingo of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

In view of the sad news of the death of His Holiness John Paul II, I would like to express to you the most heartfelt condolences of the Cuban people and government.

Humanity will retain a moving recollection of the untiring labors of His Holiness John Paul II for peace, justice and solidarity among the peoples.

The visit by the Supreme Pontiff to Cuba is etched in the memory of our nation as a transcendental moment in relations between the Vatican and the Republic of Cuba.

While advocating the development of relations between the Vatican and Cuba, I send you my highest regards.

Fidel Castro Ruz

President of the Councils of State and Ministries of the Republic of Cuba

Havana, April 2, 2005

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