Moratinos vists Havana for meeting with Castro

2nd April 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 April 2007, HAVANA - Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos was in Havana for a two-day official visit to Cuba, where he plans to meet with high-level Cuban authorities to discuss bilateral relations.

2 April 2007

HAVANA - Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos was in Havana for a two-day official visit to Cuba, where he plans to meet with high-level Cuban authorities to discuss bilateral relations.

Moratinos is scheduled to meet with Cuba's provisional president, Raul Castro, who has been in charge of the government since his brother, Fidel, ceded power to him on July 31 of last year after undergoing surgery to stop intestinal bleeding.

Moratinos is being accompanied on his official visit by Spain's secretary of state for international cooperation, Leire Pajin, and the secretary of state for Ibero-America, Trinidad Jimenez, who was already in Havana.

The Moratinos-Castro meeting was confirmed by Jimenez at a meeting with Spanish reporters in Havana.

Moratinos's visit to Cuba is the first by a foreign minister from a European Union member state since the 2003 diplomatic crisis between Havana and Brussels sparked by the execution of three ferry hijackers and the imprisonment of 75 peaceful dissidents.

The previous Spanish government, led by conservative Jose Maria Aznar, led the push for EU sanctions against Cuba in the spring of 2003 after the Castro government launched a crackdown on dissidents and executed three men for trying to hijack a ferry to the United States.

The European Commission, meanhwile, said on Monday the EU's policy toward Cuba did not mean that Moratinos could not travel to the island and meet with government officials.

Last June, the European Union decided to maintain the status quo of dialogue with Cuba, while at the same time expressing concern about the deteriorating human rights situation on the Communist-ruled island.

The European Union's foreign ministers decided to maintain for another year the policy of dialogue with Cuba, a posture adopted when the bloc lifted diplomatic sanctions against the island's government in January 2005.

In January 2005, the Council of Europe accepted a Spanish proposal and lifted diplomatic sanctions against the Cuban government imposed in 2003 in response to the arrest and conviction of the 75 peaceful dissidents.

The mild diplomatic sanctions imposed by the European Union on Cuba in 2003 included restricting official visits to the island and inviting dissidents to embassy receptions. The decision to keep inviting dissidents or not was left to each member state.

The Cuban government has roughly 300 political prisoners in its jails.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

2 April 2007

HAVANA - Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos was in Havana for a two-day official visit to Cuba, where he plans to meet with high-level Cuban authorities to discuss bilateral relations.

Moratinos is scheduled to meet with Cuba's provisional president, Raul Castro, who has been in charge of the government since his brother, Fidel, ceded power to him on July 31 of last year after undergoing surgery to stop intestinal bleeding.

Moratinos is being accompanied on his official visit by Spain's secretary of state for international cooperation, Leire Pajin, and the secretary of state for Ibero-America, Trinidad Jimenez, who was already in Havana.

The Moratinos-Castro meeting was confirmed by Jimenez at a meeting with Spanish reporters in Havana.

Moratinos's visit to Cuba is the first by a foreign minister from a European Union member state since the 2003 diplomatic crisis between Havana and Brussels sparked by the execution of three ferry hijackers and the imprisonment of 75 peaceful dissidents.

The previous Spanish government, led by conservative Jose Maria Aznar, led the push for EU sanctions against Cuba in the spring of 2003 after the Castro government launched a crackdown on dissidents and executed three men for trying to hijack a ferry to the United States.

The European Commission, meanhwile, said on Monday the EU's policy toward Cuba did not mean that Moratinos could not travel to the island and meet with government officials.

Last June, the European Union decided to maintain the status quo of dialogue with Cuba, while at the same time expressing concern about the deteriorating human rights situation on the Communist-ruled island.

The European Union's foreign ministers decided to maintain for another year the policy of dialogue with Cuba, a posture adopted when the bloc lifted diplomatic sanctions against the island's government in January 2005.

In January 2005, the Council of Europe accepted a Spanish proposal and lifted diplomatic sanctions against the Cuban government imposed in 2003 in response to the arrest and conviction of the 75 peaceful dissidents.

The mild diplomatic sanctions imposed by the European Union on Cuba in 2003 included restricting official visits to the island and inviting dissidents to embassy receptions. The decision to keep inviting dissidents or not was left to each member state.

The Cuban government has roughly 300 political prisoners in its jails.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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