Back in 1973, to answer the question:
When do you think relations between Cuba and the United States, two countries that are quite distant despite* their geographical proximity, could be restored?
he would have said:
The United States will come and talk to us when it has a black president and the world has a Latin American pope.
Whether it is a legend or a common joke attributed to a fictional Fidel Castro, this sentence summarizes the changes that have taken place in the world since then. Some believe that Castro had a prophetic revelation while many people are skeptical regarding the authenticity of this statement given that there is no official record of it.
* Despite/although – even if
- Despite = in spite of + noun phrase:
Despite the rain, we’ll go to the beach. (= In spite of the rain, we’ll go to the beach)
In spite of this, they won’t move.
- Although = even though & even if + verb phrase:
_ although/even though + verb phrase are used to talk about actual facts:
Although it’s raining, we’ll go to the beach. (it’s actually raining now)
She always visits her grandmother, even though she doesn’t have a lot of time. (she doesn’t have a lot of time)
_ even if + verb phrase is used to talk about a hypothetical situation:
We’ll go to the beach even if it rains. (it’s not raining but it might rain later)
Despite/in spite of = malgré; a pesar de
Although/even though = bien que; aunque + indicative
Even if = même si; aunque + subjunctive