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Before Commencing US Tour, Pope Francis To Visit Cuba

The historic reopening of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba was reportedly negotiated, in large part, with the help of Pope Francis. Now, however, the Vatican has announced that the Bishop of Rome will make a quick pit stop en route to the US next fall, visiting a nation that has been plagued by poverty and tyrannical rule for more than 50 years:

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The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will stop in Cuba before his visit to the United States this September.

The Holy See said earlier this month that a stopover was being considered. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi officially confirmed the stopover today but gave no further details.

Pope Francis’ historic trip to the US is scheduled for September. During his visit, he will attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, address a joint session of Congress, visit New York City, and meet privately with President Obama. Unlike some leaders, the president and Pope Francis have a warm rapport and public affection for one another.

During the president’s most recent trip to Rome, both leaders exchanged gifts and spoke about issues upon which they both agree and disagree. Presumably, they will have a similar conversation when they meet at the White House later this year.

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