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Obama pops into Miami shrine, shocks priest

by Ana Rodriguez-Soto  |  published on June 3, 2015

The priest prayed an Our Father. The president lit a candle. And while gazing together at a revered image of Cuba’s patroness, the priest reminded the president of the suffering of Cuba’s people.

“Only in the United States that’s possible,” said the Rev. Juan Rumin Dominguez, rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Charity in Miami, as he recalled the whirlwind, unexpected visit of President Barack Obama early Thursday afternoon.

The president was on his way to the airport after attending a Democratic fundraiser the night before and spending the morning at the National Hurricane Center.

“For me it was an honor and a sign that we live in a free country,” said Dominguez, himself a Cuban exile. “To be able to tell President Obama to his face about the feelings of thousands of people who visit the shrine every day.”

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