On Monday February25, Cardinal Bertone met with Felipe Perez Roque, foreign minister of Cuba. After his meeting with Roque, the cardinal said that both the Church and the new Cuban government oppose the U.S. economic embargo as "unjust and ethically unacceptable".
Cardinal Bertone recalled how John Paul II condemned the embargo in 1998, which he described at the time as "an oppression for the people of Cuba", not a means "to help the Cuban people achieve dignity and independence" and "a violation of the people's independence".
In response to questions from journalists, the cardinal also confirmed that he had not asked the Cuban government for an amnesty but for "gestures of reconciliation", adding that the Church considers the recent release of certain prisoners as "a positive gesture".
Cardinal Bertone also made it clear that he had personally asked the government of the United States to facilitate the reunion of Cuban émigrés with their relatives still on the island, saying this would be a humanitarian gesture and everything possible was being done to achieve it.
Tuesday’s meeting with the new Cuban president, Raul Castro, marked the close of the cardinal's visit to Cuba.