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Castro invokes Christ, pope to rally Cubans against US

Cuban President Fidel Castro last week invoked Christ and Pope John Paul II in rallying Cubans against a possible military invasion by the United States.

"Not even Christ, who expelled the money-changers from the temple with a whip, would stop opting for the defence of the people," said Castro at a May Day rally before a million people in Havana.

Castro expressed his "sincere and deep respect" for the pope and his steadfast opposition to the US-led war against Iraq.

"I'm absolutely sure that he (the pope) never would have advised the Shiites and the Sunnis to let themselves be killed without defending themselves, nor would he advise anything different to the Cubans," said Castro.

Shiites and Sunnis are followers of different branches of Islam living in Iraq.

Catholic News Service

Pope to Maintain Dialogue With Castro for Sake of Democracy (Zenit)
Clampdown in Cuba causes Pope 'deep pain' (The Tablet)
Cuba Update (Aid to the Church in Need)
Cuba crackdown disappoints Pope (28/4/03)
Cuban Catholic activist victim of Govt clampdown (24/4/03)

5 May 2003