In Nod to Pope, Cuba Gets a Holiday Cuba to celebrate Good Friday for first time since 1959 revolution By Mark Russell, Newser Staff Posted Apr 1, 2012 7:09 AM CDT 2 comments Comments Pope Benedict XVI meets with former Cuban President Fidel Castro at the Vatican embassy on March 29, 2012 in Havana, Cuba. (Getty Images) (Newser) – It looks like Pope Benedict's visit to Cuba brought about at least one good thing for the Cuban people—a new holiday. On April 6, Cuba will celebrate its first Good Friday since the communist takeover in 1959, reports CNN. It's not the first time a pope has brought a holiday to Cuba—John Paul II's visit in 1997 led to Cuba recognizing Christmas. There's no word, though, whether Good Friday will be celebrated every year in Cuba or just this once.