Cuba to celebrate Good Friday following Pope's visit

Pope Benedict made appeal to Raul Castro

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HAVANA, Cuba - Cuba has announced it is declaring next week's Good Friday a holiday following an appeal by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Communist government says in an official communique that the decision was made in light of the success of Benedict's "transcendental visit" to the country, which wrapped up Wednesday.

The communique, printed in Saturday's Granma newspaper, says the decision only applies to 2012.

The Council of Ministers, Cuba's supreme governing body, will decide later whether to make the holiday permanent.

Benedict made the appeal during a one-on-one with Cuban President Raul Castro.

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