- On November 10, it was announced that Benedict XVI is studying the possibility of a trip to Mexico and Cuba in the spring of 2012, "the nuncios in Mexico and Cuba have been instructed to inform the highest civil and religious authorities that the Pope is examining concrete plans to visit those states, in response to invitations he has received." (Zenit)
- In a message for Thursday's feast of the Immaculate Conception, the bishops of Cuba laid out an evangelization plan for the upcoming jubilee in celebration of the island's patron, extending a welcome to the Holy Father. According to Zenit:
The bishops outlined steps that they propose to their country's Catholics for the Marian Jubilee Year, which will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the image of the Virgin of Charity, patroness of Cuba. The year runs from Jan. 7, 2012, to Jan. 5, 2013.
- On December 12th, Benedict confirmed his travel plans to Cuba and Mexico during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica honoring Mexico's patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe:
In his homily, Benedict said it was his responsibility as pope to help confirm the faith in such an important Catholic stronghold. He said he hoped the region would continue to create new missionaries who would help build a society "rooted in the development of the common good, the triumph of love and the spread of justice."
"With these wishes, and supported by the help of divine providence, I intend to make an apostolic trip before Easter to Mexico and Cuba," he said as applause erupted in St. Peter's Basilica. He said it was a "precious time to evangelize with a solid faith, a lively hope and ardent charity."
- December 15th - Zenit features a two part interview on "The Cuba That Will Welcome Benedict XVI" Part I; Part II, interviewing Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of Havana, Cuba, on what the Holy Father should expect to find
- On January 6, 2012, The Vatican confirmed the dates and locations of of the Pope's visit to Cuba and Mexico: The March 23-28 trip will be centered in Leon, Mexico, and in Santiago and Havana, Cuba, and will include the feast of the Annunciation. (Zenit).
- The "Vatican Insider" reports that the Vatican and the Cuban government are working towards a face-to-face meeting between Benedict XVI and the now-sick and elderly leader, Fidel Castro. "The unknowns surrounding the meeting are largely related to Fidel’s health, which justifies the secrecy maintained around the project so far."
- Cuba and its patron saint await Pope Benedict (Reuters):
The Virgin of Charity of El Cobre is a gold-clothed, doll-like figurine which, according to Cuban legend, three fishermen found floating in a bay as Spain colonized the region with the sword and the cross.
She is Cuba's patron saint and Pope Benedict will visit her in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba on March 26 to mark the 400th anniversary of her discovery.