Pope Benedict XVI may have prayed for change in the Cuban political system during his stopover on the island nation on Tuesday, but he won’t see any tangible results anytime soon, according to one high-profile member of President Raul Castro’s administration. –KA

AP via USA Today:

Marino Murillo, Cuba’s economic czar and a vice president on President Raul Castro’s council of ministers, said that while the country is shaking up its economy, “in Cuba there will not be political reform.”

Murillo’s comments to a room full of journalists covering the papal visit were a quick and categorical response to comments by Benedict earlier in the day, when he made a highly symbolic prayer visit to the shrine of the nation’s patron saint.

“I have entrusted to the Mother of God the future of your country, advancing along the ways of renewal and hope, for the greater good of all Cubans,” the pope said at the sanctuary in the little town of El Cobre.

“I have also prayed to the Virgin for the needs of those who suffer, of those who are deprived of freedom, those who are separated from their loved ones or who are undergoing times of difficulty.”

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