Cuban authorities prevented leading dissidents from meeting Pope Francis in Havana on Sunday, in a sign of the Communist regime’s rigid intolerance of political opposition.Two well-known dissidents, Marta Beatriz Roque and Miriam Leiva, had been invited by the Vatican to attend a vespers service led by the Pope’s in Havana’s historic baroque cathedral.But they said they were detained by security agents and barred from attending the event."They told me that I didn't have a credential and that I couldn't go to the Pope’s event that was taking place there in the plaza of the Cathedral," Ms Roque said.She said that she and Ms Leiva had also been invited by the Vatican to meet Pope Francis at the residence of the Holy See’s ambassador to Cuba shortly after the pontiff's arrival on Saturday, but that they were detained on that occasion as well.The head of an opposition group called the Ladies in White said that 22 of the 24 members of the group who had hoped to attend a Mass celebrated by the Pope were prevented from doing so by Cuban security officials.There had been intense speculation about whether the Pope would risk incurring the displeasure of his host, President Raul Castro, by meeting political opponents of the Communist regime.
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