High-level officials of the Cuban government were present on Wednesday night to welcome Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who will be visiting Cuba until February 26 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 1998 visit by Pope John Paul II.
The plane carrying Cardinal Bertone arrived at the Jose Marti International Airport at 9:30pm local time, where the cardinal was greeted by Felipe Perez Roque, Cuba’s Foreign Relations Minister; Caridad Diego, head of the Religious Affairs Office of the Communist Party; Eumelio Caballero, vice chancellor; and Raul Roa Kouri, Cuba’s Ambassador to the Holy See.
Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino of Havana and Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, as well as several other bishops, were also on hand to welcome Cardinal Bertone.
During his stay in Cuba, the Vatican Secretary of State will visit Havana, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo. He will also meet with Cuban officials, although it has yet to be determined if he will meet with Raul Castro, who has yet to be officially elected president in light of the recent retirement by Fidel Castro.