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Following Pope John Paul II’s groundbreaking 1998 visit to Cuba, the revolutionary government selectively allowed the renewal of religious street processions. The gradual church-state détente continued in the 2000s as each institution promoted a new generation of pragmatic leaders. Pope Benedict XVI’s 2012 visit to Cuba to celebrate the four-hundredth anniversary of the finding of the Virgin’s effigy occasioned public Masses in the revolutionary plazas of Santiago and Havana. Memorable utterances and performative gestures from previous street events form a ritual repository from which public event planners and attendees draw in order to organize, execute, and interpret “popular” participation and...

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