Pope Francis begins historic Cuba visit

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Pope Francis landed in Cuba on Saturday for the opening leg of a major 10-day tour of the Americas.

The pope's plane touched down at Havana's José Martí International Airport just before 4 PM. Cuban president Raul Castro was there to greet him. Francis is now the third pope to visit Cuba since 1998. It is his first-ever visit to the country.

In an amusing moment, the pope's hat was blown off his head as he stepped off the plane.

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The trip is rich in symbolism. Francis is the first Latin American pope in history, and he played a crucial role in the historic diplomatic thaw between the United States and Cuba.

In a speech just after he landed, Francis hailed the ongoing normalization efforts, and called on the two countries to continue them.

"The world needs reconciliation," he said.

Francis is due to conduct a mass in Havana's Plaza de la Revolución on Sunday before touring the country. He leaves for the U.S. on September 22.

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The visit was eagerly anticipated across the island. Below, see some pictures of Cubans preparing for Francis' arrival.

Fusion is airing a documentary about Pope Francis, "Saint or Sinner," on Sunday night at 8 PM.

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This image was removed due to legal reasons.
This image was removed due to legal reasons.
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This image was removed due to legal reasons.
This image was removed due to legal reasons.

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