Papal Visit To Cuba

— NPR's Tom Gjelten reports on the political implications of Pope John Paul's five-day visit to Cuba, which begins Wednesday. President Fidel Castro hopes the Pope's visit will help end Cuba's isolation and lead toward the lifting of economic sanctions. Pope John Paul wants to strengthen the position of the Catholic Church in Cuba, which has been weakened by almost 40 years of Communism. The Pope's use of constructive engagement could prove embarrassing to the United States, which has tried to isolate Castro and Cuba.

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