"I hope it is because of my blind ignorance, but anyone know what Chavez's objective was in having a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI?"
He wanted a photo op to show on all the media that he controls, but it won't work. The Church is the only critic he can't silence. Cardinal Castillo is one of hte good cardinals and has been Chavez's most outspoken adversary. Castillo won't be intimidated. Wish we had some cardinals like him.
Sounds like it's right from the Castro playbook.