Cuba, Spain hope to expand ties

Spain Cuba

Cuba and Spain have expressed a common desire to expand ties, a Cuban newspaper said on Thursday.

This was heard when Cuban President Raul Castro met with visiting Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Alfonso Dastis, according to a government release published by Cuba’s official daily Granma.

Castro and Dastis expressed satisfaction for the favorable development of ties between Havana and Madrid, which they said corresponds to “nations that share deep historical and cultural ties.”

They also discussed international issues.

Dastis arrived in Cuba on Tuesday for an official visit, during which he also held talks with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez, when they agreed to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation.

“This visit confirms the favorable ties between our nations and its potential in further developing economic, academic, cultural, commercial and political links,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez highlighted the “important role” of Spanish companies as investors in local key areas like tourism, food production and infrastructure.

Spain is Cuba’s third largest trading partner, after China and Venezuela, and the top one in the European Union. Its trade value with Cuba reached 900 million euros (1.1 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016, according to official data.