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The Vatican prevents Cuban demonstration in St. Peter's Square

2021-10-25T23:49:34.678Z

The Vatican prevented several dozen Cubans from demonstrating in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, where they wanted to promote a protest.



HRW: "Brutal repression" against protesters in Cuba 4:06

(CNN Spanish) -

Several dozen Cubans in Italy gathered this Sunday at the gates of the Vatican with the purpose of promoting the call for a large mobilization scheduled for November 15 on the island against the local government.

However, they were not allowed access to St. Peter's Square because, according to the Vatican confirmed to CNN, political demonstrations are prohibited in its territory.

They were also unable to display their flags.

The rally took place in front of St. Peter's Square, while Pope Francis officiated his weekly Angelus prayer with the faithful present, many of whom usually carry the flags of their country.

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But this time the Cuban protesters were not allowed to enter the square, the Vatican told CNN, because it is the policy of the Holy See not to accept political demonstrations, whatever the sign.

For the same reason, the Cubans were also unable to display their flags inside the plaza to avoid any kind of "instrumentalization."

Because of that, they left the square and continued the protest peacefully on Avenida de la Conciliation, the street that leads directly to the Vatican.

In this July 18, 2021 photo, members of the Cuban community in Italy pose before Pope Francis pronounces the angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square.

(Credit: Andreas Solaro / AFP / Getty Images)

The objective of the call was a show of support for the great mobilization against the Cuban government on the island, an initiative that the executive of that country has not authorized and that is feared could end in chaos like those of July.

CNN has not been able to determine if the protest was called by an opposition group on the island or in Italy.

Humanitarian organizations such as Human Rights Watch have denounced that the authorities, on that occasion, responded with "violent and systematic repression."

Pope Francis has maintained good diplomatic relations with Cuba.

He was a key figure in the rapprochement between Havana and Washington during the presidency of Barack Obama, which meant another step in opening Cuba to the world.

As part of that thaw, the then president of Cuba, Raúl Castro, was able to participate in the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2016, in what was his first visit to that country in more than 50 years.

In addition, Francisco was in Cuba in 2015 before traveling to the US, although with the arrival of Donald Trump to the White House, bilateral relations cooled down again.

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Social leader tells how difficult it is to demonstrate in Cuba 0:41

However, the pontiff closely follows the evolution of the situation on the island.

In July, during the tense protests unleashed in that country, he made public his closeness with the "beloved Cuban people in these difficult times, in particular with the families who suffer the most."

He also asked "the Lord to help them build in peace, dialogue and solidarity an increasingly just and fraternal society."

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-10-25

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