Communist Cuba rolls out red carpet for Pope Francis

Head of the Roman Catholic church is due to arrive in Havana, the first leg of his visit to Cuba and the United States.

    The head of the Roman Catholic church is due to arrive in Havana, the first leg of his visit to Cuba and the United States.

    Pope Francis is set to arrive on Saturday and will spend four days on the communist Caribbean island before flying to the US capital, Washington DC. 

    It is the first time for Francis to visit both countries as pope, who has been credited with helping bring about a thaw in relations between the two former Cold War rivals.

    On Saturday, the government launched an effort to bring crowds into the streets of Havana, offering a day's pay, snacks and transportation to state workers who gather along the pope's route from the airport to his residence at the papal ambassador's home, according to the Associated Press. 

    University students also have been recruited to come out for the pope, the report said. 

    Al Jazeera's Latin America Editor Lucia Newman reports from Havana.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?