The latest stop off on Pope Benedict's 3 day Papal tour saw him visiting Cuba to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro.

The Pontiff arrived in Havana from Santiago de Cuba for a one hour meeting with Mr Castro at the Council of State and Ministers. The Pope's visit is seen as an effort to improve relations and increase the role of the church in Cuban society at a time of rapid change.

The background to this visit is interesting, as it is only the second papal trip in Cuban history to the communist country. It coincides with the 400th anniversary discovery, by three fishermen, of a figure of the Virgin Mary which was found floating in a bay in 1612. This has since become an important symbolic figure for both Catholics and the Afro Caribbean Santeria religion followers. The Mambisa Virgin is revered by Cuba's independence heroes as a symbol of suffering and those who are deprived of freedom.