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Ambassadors of Cuba and the United States to the Holy See attended Monday in Rome at a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Havana, Jaime Ortega y Alamino, who welcomed the agreement to restore relations between the two countries.

Cuban diplomat Rodney Alejandro López Clemente and American Kenneth F. Hackett were sitting in the front row and listened together the office of archbishop, who referred to them in his homily.

Ortega said he was confident that "the message of thaw" from getting "the whole world" in a mass dedicated to the 47th anniversary of the founding of the Community of Sant'Egidio, a lay movement committed to evangelization and charity.

Pope Francisco played a key role in the negotiations between the governments of Barack Obama and Raul Castro, who thanked the support of the pontiff.

"For years we had lost hope, but history is full of surprises," said Cardinal Ortega. Thanks to the "extraordinary initiative of Pope Francisco", it occurred last December 17 "the end of a time that seemed to never end," he added.

The archbishop said that "patience, dialogue and perseverance" have resulted in "a new era for Cuba and the United States, a time of encounter and dialogue" and was hopeful "about the future of the Cuban people."

Source: Diario de Cuba

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