Castro gives Pope giant cross made of oars

Havana, Sep 22 (IANS/AKI) A huge crucifix made of wooden oars carved from migrant boats was among the official gifts presented to Pope Francis by Cuba’s president Raul Castro during their meeting in Havana.

The two-metre high cross was presented by the Cuban artist Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho) and was on display at the Palace of the Revolution, Cuba’s seat of government.

During his four-day visit, his first to the communist island, Pope Francis has emphasised reconciliation with Cubans living overseas.

Pope Francis and Fidel Castro had a half-hour meeting in Havana on Sunday at Castro’s home, which the Vatican described as informal.

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