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Thu 29 Mar 2012 10:43 AM

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Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba

Fourteen years after Pope John Paul II visited Cuba, Pope Benedict is making his first trip to the communist country

Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba
Pope Benedict called for an end to the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba and met with revolutionary icon Fidel Castro on Wednesday as he ended a trip in which he urged the communist island to change. (Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba
He also spoke at a public Mass in Havana's sprawling Revolution Square where the Vatican said 300,000 people gathered to hear the 84-year-old pontiff. (Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba
In a trip laced with calls for change in Cuba, his last message was aimed at the United States, its long-time ideological foe, which for 50 years has imposed a trade embargo trying to topple the Caribbean island's communist government. (Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba
Speaking in a departure ceremony at a rainy Havana airport, Benedict said Cuba could build "a society of broad vision, renewed and reconciled," but it was more difficult "when restrictive economic measures, imposed from outside the country, unfairly burden its people." (Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba
"The present hour urgently demands that in personal, national and international co-existence we reject immovable positions and unilateral viewpoints," the German pope, dressed in white vestments, said in his soft voice and heavily accented Spanish. (AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba
Beginning at his arrival in eastern Santiago de Cuba on Monday, Benedict sprinkled his speeches with thinly-veiled references to Cuban dissidents, political prisoners, Cuban exiles and the need for the Caribbean island to push ahead with its economic reforms. (Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba
The pontiff rode in his Popemobile on the way to the airport and was bid farewell by streets lined with Cubans waving flags and cheering him. (AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba
President Raul Castro, who attended the pope's Masses in Santiago on Monday and in Havana on Wednesday, saw off the pontiff, who is frail and moves slowly, before he boarded his jet for Rome and flew into stormy skies. (AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba
The two men clasped hands and Raul Castro dipped his head briefly in a show of reverence that he had made at their other meetings. Both he and his older brother were educated by Jesuits, the worldwide Catholic order.(AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba
"Your visit has taken place in an atmosphere of mutual understanding," President Castro said. "Your holiness, we have found many and deep agreements, although it's natural that we don't think the same on all issues."(AFP/Getty Images)