March 28 - Catholic Pope Benedict XVI meets with Cuban leader Raul Castro during his visit to Havana. Simon Hanna reports.
Pope Benedict XVI meets with Cuban President Raul Castro. Pope Benedict is only the second pope to visit this Caribbean island nation. Castro and the pontiff held an hour-long private meeting at the Council of State and Ministers, which the Vatican later described as "significant". The Pope reportedly asked the Cuban president to recognise Good Friday as a holiday. Years earlier, his predecessor John Paul II had petitioned Cuba to recognise Christmas Day as a national holiday. On Tuesday, thousands turned out to attend a mass in Santiago de Cuba held by the Pope. He is due to give a second open-air mass in Havana's vast Revolution Square before heading back to Rome. Simon Hanna, Reuters.