Pope of the Caribbean | USDemocrazy

He's the spiritual leader of more than one billion people around the world (and an important religious figure for another billion or so ). 

He's visiting a country that, in 1959, declared itself officially atheist .  

Time Magazine called him the " Best Politician in the World ."

He literally wears a cape .

He's Pope Francis, head of the Catholic church, and (prior to flooding the DC region with traffic), he spent a sunny Caribbean weekend in Cuba. 

Francis is hardly the first pope to set foot in Cuba. In fact, his two most recent predecessors, Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II, both made official visits to the island nation in 2012 and 1998, respectively. (Cuba is now officially secular, rather than atheist.) 

This trip is especially notable, however, in light of Pope Francis's role in recent warming of relations between the United States and Cuba .

This move not only boosted his popularity with the Cuban population, but also indicates that he may have some clout with Cuban leaders, particularly Raúl Castro. 

Francis met privately with Castro on Sunday.  The details of what the men discussed are not publicly known, but a Vatican spokesperson called the meeting " relaxed ." 

In his public mass, Pope Francis avoided controversial topics such as human rights and religious freedom . Rather, he preached in his native Spanish on the importance of service and humility .

He offered no comment on three protesters arrested for distributing leaflets before mass (and many more who may have been barred from attending ). While Francis did invite at least two high-profile dissidents to an event, they appear to have been arrested before they could speak with the Pope. 

If Pope Francis tested the limits of his influence in Cuba, he did so quietly.