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Pope plans visits to Mexico, Cuba

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:26 AM EST, Fri November 11, 2011
Pope Benedict XVI is planning potential trips to Mexico and Cuba in 2012, the Vatican has said.
Pope Benedict XVI is planning potential trips to Mexico and Cuba in 2012, the Vatican has said.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Vatican announces potential trips to Mexico and Cuba
  • Pope Benedict XVI has not visited Spanish-speaking Latin America
  • Considerations such as altitude will determine the plans

Rome (CNN) -- Pope Benedict XVI is planning potential trips to Mexico and Cuba in 2012, the Vatican said.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, announced Thursday that the Pope is working on a "concrete plan" to accept invitations to the two counties.

More details and a final decision will be announced in the coming weeks, Lombardi said in a statement.

"The Pope was in Brazil (in 2007), but the Spanish-speaking Latin American countries desired visit and Mexico is the most populous of them," Lombardi said.

In 1998, Pope John Paul II became the first Pope to visit Cuba, a trip that marked the first invitation to the island since the Cuban Revolution. Recalling that visit, Pope Benedict XVI "very much wanted to see" Cuba, too, Lombardi said.

There are still numerous considerations and details to work out, he said.

Among them are concerns about altitude, which may keep the Pope from going to Mexico City, he said. Other locations in Mexico must be considered, he said.

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