Thursday, November 27, 2014

Spain and Cuba Deepen Relations

Created on Thursday, 27 November 2014 11:33

Agencia Cubana de Noticias (Cuban News Agency)

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 27 (acn) The recent visit to Cuba by Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel García-Margallo was particularly focused on the further development of bilateral economic and commercial relations between Madrid and Havana, as Spain has been the island´s third major commercial partner for years.

In an end-of-the-visit statement García-Margallo stressed the role being played by Cuba as part of the community of Latin American nations and he went on to say that his trip takes place amidst the normal bilateral relations between Spain and the rest of Latin America.

The top Spanish diplomat held talks with first vice-president Miguel Diaz-Canel, with government vice-president Ricardo Cabrisas and with foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez.

In April, Cuba and the European Union opened negotiations towards an accord to hold political and cooperation talks. The island accepted the negotiations on similar grounds and with respect for the sovereignty of the states and the principle of non-interference in their internal affairs.

Cuba is one of the few countries in Latin America that does not have such an accord in its relations with the European Union, due to the so-called Common European Pposition, which was adopted in 1996 by the bloc posing restrictions on relations with the island.

European Parliament vice-president Miguel Angel Martinez said that the lack of such an accord is harmful to Cuba and also to Europe, particularly damaging the European image before Latin American and other Third World nations for which the island is an example of solidarity.

Meanwhile, European Union ambassador to Havana, Herman Portocarero praised the opportunities offered by Cuba to foreign capital due to the highly-skilled labor, its geographical situation and its regional integration efforts.

While an accord is still to be reached to hold the political dialog between Cuba and the European Union, several visits by high-level European officials have taken place, including the state minister of the British Foreign Ministry, Hugo Swire.

Swire said that his presence on the island showed the support by his country of the economic changes taking place in Cuba and he underscored his interest that British entrepreneurs come to Havana.

The European stance against the US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba was reiterated this year at the United Nations and during his recent visit here, the Spanish foreign minister recalled that gesture in the name of his country and the European bloc.

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