Little-known book by pope outlines views, hopes for Cuba in criticizing Castro regime, embargo

A little-known book about Cuba by Jorge Mario Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — provides new insight into Francis' views on Cuban society, Marxism and the U.S. trade embargo that shaped his behind-the-scenes role in helping bring about the historic thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations.

Bergoglio compiled "Dialogues between John Paul II and Fidel Castro" in 1998, soon after the Polish pope's landmark visit to the communist island. Bergoglio attended the event but the Argentine cleric was clearly well versed in the issues before then, given the impact the Cold War had on the whole Latin American church.

In the booklet, Bergoglio denounces the U.S. embargo and economic isolation of Cuba but harshly criticizes socialism — and by extension Castro's atheist revolution — for denying individuals their "transcendent dignity."