Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 05 August |
The Commemoration of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major
home iconChurch
line break icon

Unrest in Cuba and South Africa on Pope Francis’ mind


AP/Associated Press/East News

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 07/18/21

The Holy Father was back at the window overlooking St. Peter's for the July 18 midday Angelus.

Pope Francis expressed his concern at conflicts in Cuba and South Africa, urging peace in the countries in appeals made after he led the midday Angelus.

The Pope was back at his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square for the midday prayer, after last week having led it from the Gemelli hospital, where he had colon surgery.

In South Africa, protests in response to the economic and health crisis affecting the country have resulted in the deaths of 212 people. Former president Jacob Zuma has been jailed for incorruption during his term (ending in 2018) and supporters have taken to the streets. The political unrest is exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic.

Pope Francis joined with the South African bishops in calling on those responsible to promote peace and come to the aid of those in need.

“May the desire that has guided the South African people, the rebirth of harmony among all its children, not be forgotten,” he said.


As well, the head of the Catholic Church had a word for the Cuban people “in these difficult times,” in particular “those families suffering most.” He asked God to help the Cuban people build “an ever more just and fraternal society in peace, dialogue, and solidarity.”

“I urge all Cubans to entrust themselves to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary of Charity of Cobre,” he said. “She will accompany them on this journey.”

Major demonstrations against the regime in power have taken place, against the backdrop of the economic and health crisis. The protests are unprecedented since Fidel Castro’s revolution in the 1960s. Fidel’s brother, Raul, retired earlier this year, leaving Miguel Díaz-Canel at the helm of the Communist party.

Floods in Europe

As well, Pope Francis reiterated his prayed for all those affected by the severe flooding in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

CubaPoliticsPope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde’s beautiful message as she drops out of TV show
Gianmarco Tamberi AND Mutaz Essa Barshim
Cerith Gardiner
This Olympic event captures the true meaning of the Games
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.