While on his way to the U.S, Pope Francis gave a brief press conference aboard the papal plane. With 76 journalists on flight, he addressed some of their questions about political prisoners in Cuba.
The Pope explained that he had not met with anyone in private. His diplomatic team, he explained, did not grant any one on one meetings during his trip to Cuba.
"No, I didn't have any private audiences. That's true for everyone. One head of state asked for a private meeting and it was denied.”
He then added that for many years now, the Church in Cuba has been working to free political prisoners on the island. In fact, upon the Pope's visit 3,500 prisoners were released.
"The Church is working and has worked on this. I'm not saying that the 3,000 or so released prisoners were part of a Church list- No! But the Church has made a list of many people calling for them to be pardoned. The Church will continue to do this.”
He said he had not heard about a group of dissidents who were detained by the Cuban government, as they tried to get the Pope's attention. The Pope also addressed the embargo between the U.S and Cuba, adding that he hopes the issue will be resolved.
One journalist asked him, if he was a communist. The Pope responded by saying that his message was simply based on the Doctrine of the Church.