It would be great to have an audio recording of the words exchanged. But…well…. at least we know that they speak the same language, and that Berta knows how to deliver a message. As Cubans would say: “ella no tiene pelos en la lengua.” (She has no hairs on her tongue – she can be brutally frank.)
This was not a private audience. Every wednesday morning the pope celebrates mass, delivers a brief talk to a large invited audience, blesses them, and then mingles with the crowd. Getting a spot in the front row is difficult and takes some clout.
Berta was well placed, and had a chance to catch the pope’s eye. And he may have been alerted to her presence.
It may seem like an insignificant encounter to some, but this is a big deal, and the rulers of the Castro Kingdom will gnash their teeth when they see this photo. The Cuban flag draped between the two figures in white will be a great irritant to the tyrants, because they refuse to accept the fact that Cuba belongs to all Cubans, not just to their slave-drivers and those slaves who agree to submit to the lash. .
So, even though this was a brief encounter, it delivers a potent message.
Pope Francis linked up with Berta in the midst of a large crowd. Sad to say, but Benedict XVI would have probably avoided the Lady in White.