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Pope makes first visit to Cuba in 14 years

Pope Benedict XVI has held a mass in Cuba - marking the first Papal visit to the Caribbean nation for 14 years.

Anybody who has taken a Cuba holiday will be well aware that religion is an important part of everyday life for some residents of the island, so it is little wonder that so many people turned up to see His Holiness.

Around 200,000 worshippers filled Revolution Square in Santiago for the special occasion and the Pontiff was officially welcomed by president Raul Castro.

His visit coincided with the 400th anniversary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre - Cuba's patron saint - and is seen as a huge occasion for the islanders.

It is likely to raise the country's profile even further and travellers who have taken a break in this part of the world tend to fall in love with the nation thanks to its beautiful beaches, vast culture and favourable climate.

The streets of Havana are filled with cars from the 1950s and advertisements are virtually non-existent, which makes for a refreshing change to many western cities.