Tag Archive for: Berlin

Photo EFE

Photo EFE

HAVANA,  July  17  (EFE) The foreign ministers of Germany and Cuba on Thursday in this capital signed two agreements to establish the basis for political and economic cooperation, along with cultural exchanges.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier met with Bruno Rodriguez at the beginning of an official visit that is the first by a German foreign minister to the communist island.

“It’s an historic moment that we’re experiencing now,” said the German minister, who also emphasized the “process of transformation” begun by Cuba and which, in his judgment, is going “in the right direction.”

He recalled that, in the past, bilateral relations were marked by “distance, silence and great differences.”

At their meeting, the ministers discussed the basis for relaunching the bilateral relationship and creating mechanisms of cooperation that, to date, the two nations did not have, placing special emphasis on scientific, cultural and sports exchange.

They also agreed that, during the second half of the year, Havana and Berlin will definitively negotiate the cultural agreement and also the conditions under which Germany may establish a trade office on the island.

Besides his meeting with Rodriguez, Steinmeier is scheduled to meet with Culture Minister Julian Gonzalez and with Cuba’s Catholic primate, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, as well as with representatives of civil society.

Steinmeier traveled to Havana along with a small delegation of business executives.

Cuba occupies only a very modest position among Germany’s trade interests, given that it is in 101st place among the nations Berlin exports to and in 125th place among the nations the European nation imports from.

Steinmeier’s visit comes just days before the scheduled reopening of the U.S. and Cuban embassies in Havana and Washington, an event set to take place next Monday.

 Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits Cuba on Thursday, breaking new diplomatic ground in ties between Havana and Berlin.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits Cuba on Thursday, breaking new diplomatic ground in ties between Havana and Berlin.

HAVANA,  July 16 In a further sign of the radical shift in relations between Cuba and the democratic states of the West, Steinmeier will make the first visit of a German foreign minister to Cuba when his plane arrives in Havana on Thursday morning.

On the agenda for Steinemeier during his two-day visit are talks with opposite number Bruno Rodriguerz as well as discussions with other members of the cabinet and meetings with artists and sportspeople.

The last time a representative of the German government visited Cuba was 14 years ago.
There are currently no plans for a meeting with President Raul Castro or his brother Fidel.
Steinmeier is to set out the case for seeing Cuba’s relations with the European Union strengthened.

Since 2014 new negotiations have been underway between Havana and Brussels over a political dialogue.

Amnesty International has called on Steinmeier to bring pressure to bear on Cuba over its patchy human rights record during the visit.

Amnesty International Germany’s head Selmin Caliskan said that in Cuba “it is still practically impossible to openly criticize the government.”

Steinmeier must impress upon the Cuban government the importance of every Cuban being able to enjoy their basic rights, said Caliskan

Cubna has step-by-step opened itself up to the outside world in the previous few years.

On Monday the USA and Cuba are to make the warming of relations between the two states official by re-opening their embassies in one another’s capitals.