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Good Friday Now An Official Holiday In Cuba

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Cuban President Raul Castro (R) shakes hands with Pope Benedict XVI after mass at Revolution Square in Havana on March 28, 2012.  (Photo credit:  JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

Cuban President Raul Castro (R) shakes hands with Pope Benedict XVI after mass at Revolution Square in Havana on March 28, 2012. (Photo credit: JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

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HAVANA (CBSMiami) – Good Friday is once again an official national holiday in Cuba.

It’s the first time Good Friday has been a national holiday since Fidel Castro’s Revolution in 1959.

The change comes as part of Cuba’s new labor law which goes into effect in June. The new Labor Code, passed by the National Assembly in December, established Good Friday as a holiday.

A special ruling was passed that allows all but essential services be closed on Friday, April 18th.

The first Good Friday that Cuba celebrated in decades was on April 6, 2012, following a request made by Pope Benedict XVI to President Raul Castro during his March 26-28 visit to the island.

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