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Vatican played key role in normalizing the relationship between U.S and Cuba

American President Barack Obama and Cuban leader, Raul Castro announced that the U.S and Cuba will re-establish diplomatic relations. They decided to make the announcement, on December 17th, the Pope's 78th birthday. ; Through a statement, the Vatican announced that in the last few months, the Pope had written letters to both Obama and Castro, inviting them to deal with the case of some prisoners. He also called for a new phase in the relationship between both countries. ; The statement also added that back in the month of October, an American and Cuban delegation met in the Vatican to discuss how they could move forward. ; The Pope said he is highly pleased with the decision, which he hopes will help overcome the challenges that once strained the relationship. ; Despite Cuba's known resistance towards religion, the Holy See never broke diplomatic ties with the island. ; John Paul II visited Cuba back in 1998 asking Cuba to open itself to the world and vice-versa. ; It's a message Benedict XVI reiterated when he too visited Havana in March 2012. ; Now, Pope Francis is seeing the fruits of those efforts. ; JMB/KLH ; RR JM -BN Up: MPI