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Obama meets cardinal in Havana

HAVANA (SE): The president of the United States of America (US), Barack Obama, met with Jaime Lucas Cardinal Ortega y Alamino in Havana, during his three-day visit to Cuba on March 20.

The meeting took place at the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception in the nation’s capital city on the first day of the US president’s visit.

In August last year, Cardinal Ortega praised what he called the very promising re-opening of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba and said the Church would play a part in the process.

The cardinal helped bring about the December 2014 agreement between the US and Cuba to begin normalising relations—dubbed the Cuban Thaw. Pope Francis played a key role as mediator as well, working behind the scenes to bring the two sides together.


The US deputy National Security Adviser, Ben Rhodes, said, “The cardinal, along with Pope Francis, was particularly helpful in supporting the agreement on December 17 to normalise relations.”

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