Cuba tidies up to welcome Pope Francis

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Pope Francis amongst crowds in the ‘popemobile’

CITIES and towns in Cuba which are on the Pope’s itinerary for his four day visit which started Saturday, September 19, have been receiving a hurried facelift.

Streets are being newly paved in Havana and the cathedral is being renovated.

In the city’s well known Revolution Square, where Pope Francis will celebrate Mass on Sunday, workers have been building a huge altar and stands for the congregation and choir.

His Holiness will spend four days in Cuba before flying to the US and these are his first visits to either country. Similar makeovers are taking place in other Cuban cities on the Pope’s itinerary.

Reports say that workers in Havana have re-laid the cobbled streets where the Pope mobile will pass and have upgraded the traffic lights as well as renovating the airport terminal.

With about 1,000 Cuban and foreign journalists expected to cover the visit, there are some important temporal matters to consider as the eyes of the world will be upon this small Caribbean island.

On September 17, the Vatican said it hoped Pope Francis’s visit would help bring to an end the 53-year-old US embargo and lead to more freedom and human rights on the island and the following day, the US government announced the easing of restrictions on business and travel with Cuba.

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