British destroyer makes port call in Havana

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The HMS Manchester has docked in the port of Havana in the first visit to Cuba by a British destroyer in the more than 50 years since Fidel Castro came to power, the local media reported.

The state-run Prensa Latina said the ship was welcomed to port Monday by Cuban navy captain Jose Pineiro and the British ambassador Dianne Melrose.

"I hope we can get to know each other better in the coming days," Commander Rex Cox, the Manchester's commanding officer, was quoted as telling the head of the Cuban navy, Rear Admiral Carlos Alfonso Duque.

The ship, which is in port until Saturday, will be open to Cuban visitors on Wednesday and its crew will visit Cuban Naval Academy on Friday.

Although this was the first port visit by a British destroyer since the 1959 Cuban revolution, a logistics ship, the RFA Wave Ruler, stopped here in 2008, and a tanker came through in 2002.

© 2010 AFP

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