The Latest: Crowd gathers for Francis' first papal Mass in Havana's Revolution Square
HAVANA – The latest developments in Pope Francis' visit to Cuba and the United States. All times local:
The sun has risen over Havana's Revolution Plaza and already thousands of people have filled the square ahead of Pope Francis' first Mass in Cuba.
Believers and non-believers alike have streamed into the square, waiting for Francis to arrive by popemobile. The square's iconic metal portrait of Che Guevara competes with a huge poster of Christ facing the altar where Francis will celebrate Mass.
Cubans know that Francis helped spur the United States and Cuba to their historic rapprochement, and they are coming out in droves to see history's first Latin American pope.
Jose Rafael Velazquez is a 54-year-old worker who came to the plaza with his wife three hours before Mass was due to begin. He says he's not religious, but is coming more to witness a historic event.
He says: "We also are very hopeful for this visit, because the pope was key in the deal with the United States, and ever since the announcement, there have been changes and this visit gives me more hope that it'll get better."