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Cardinal Parolin: Vatican will continue to support rapprochement between the US and Cuba

Fidel Castro visited the Vatican nearly 20 years ago, and his brother Raúl has yet to do so since taking his place as president of Cuba. However, that will change, as Raúl Castro will officially visit the Pope on Sunday, May 10th.  The current leader of Cuba shocked the world in December when he announced, together with Barack Obama, that the United States and Cuba had restored diplomatic relations. Both acknowledged the help of Pope Francis in bringing the countries together. From Rome, Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said that the path to rebuilding the relationship with the two countries would be long. He added that it could take decades and both parties would have to proceed with caution. CARD. PIETRO PAROLIN Vatican Secretary of State "After 50 years without communication, mutual distrust, and hostility, I don't believe it will be easy. Both have shown contempt for a very long time. It is necessary to build a climate of trust, and that's the phase we are in now.â? Parolin continued that relations are still headed in a positive direction. He said the Holy See will be willing to help in the following months.  CARD. PIETRO PAROLIN Vatican Secretary of State "Giving support to sustain this process of opening up relations, sustaining the approach that the U.S. and Cuba are taking. The opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba is a big step in the right direction, a step that obviously needs to be supported and encouraged.â? The Vatican confirmed last month that the Pope plans to visit Cuba before he arrives in the United States in September. However, they did not provide specific details about the visit. It will be the third papal trip to Cuba. Pope John Paul II came in 1998 and Pope Benedict XVI visited in 2012. JRB/ATO MG/RR -JM -PR Up:GRT #Vaticano