One-man protest during papal visit to Cuba

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Cries of “down with communism” could be heard on Monday in the Plaza de la Revolucion in Santiago de Cuba just before the start of an open-air mass led by Pope Benedict XVI. A man charged out of the crowd towards the stage and shouted this slogan before he was bundled away by security. Remarkably, a Red Cross worker then took a swing at him.

Wim Jansen of RNW's Latin America desk was in the crowd and filmed the incident.

[media:video]

The pope called upon the congregation to strengthen their faith and “build a renewed, open society - a better, more humane society.” One of the 200,000 Cubans in attendance was President Raúl Castro. 

On Wednesday the pope will lead an open-air mass in the capital Havana and will also have a meeting with the president. The Vatican says the pope will not have time for talks with dissidents in Cuba.