Women in White invite Pope Francis to visit Cuba

Rome, Italy, May 10, 2013 / 12:39 pm (CNA).- The leader of the Cuban protest group Women in White said she hopes Pope Francis will visit Cuba after she had the opportunity to meet the Holy Father at a general audience in Rome.

“I hope he comes, because he is a Latino Pope who is very familiar with the suffering of the people, and perhaps he can come. For my part, the doors are open,” Berta Soler told CNA after attending the Holy Father’s general audience on May 8.

“We were able to send two letters from the Women in White through an Argentinean priest, Father Alejandro Dario, who is a close friend of His Holiness, thanking Benedict XVI for inviting us to a general audience,” Soler said.

“But we also sent a letter to Pope Francis to tell him about the Women in White and that we are here to participate in the general audience,” she continued.

Originally organized to protest their imprisoned husbands and relatives in Cuba, the Women in White continue to demonstrate on behalf of political prisoners throughout the country.

The dissident leader recalled that they were invited to attend the general audience by Benedict XVI in a letter this January.

“Thanks be to God and Our Lady of Charity, patroness of Cuba, I was able to sit in the front row in the general audience,” she said.

Regarding her brief encounter with Pope Francis, Soler said, “The mere fact that he listened to me and held my hand was enough for me.” 

The blessings the Pope gave her “were not for Berta Soler, but for the people of Cuba who are in great need,” she added.

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