MÉRIDA.- In an assessment of his state visit to Merida, the capital of Yucatan, President Raul Castro described the state of relations between Cuba and Mexico as better now than at any point during the past 15 years.
The Cuban leader was received by his host, Enrique Peña Nieto, at Yucatan government buildings in the heart of the Mexican state capital that has close ties with Cuba. They held a private meeting and later led formal talks between high level delegations of their respective governments.
Both heads of State were in agreement that their bilateral ties were in the process of renewal that sought to recover their former plenitude.
Mexico and Cuba signed a memorandum of understanding to guarantee the safe, orderly and lawful passage of migrants between the two nations.
President Enrique Peña Nieto said that the legal instrument would facilitate the battle against illegal human trafficking and other criminal acts associated with migration.
Another memorandum on academic collaboration between foreign ministries was signed, as was a tourism affairs cooperation program for 2016-2017, the purpose of which is to promote the flow of tourists between Mexican and Cuban destinations.
The two countries also agreed on a program covering best fishing practices and aqua-cultural development.
Cuba and México signed a letter of intention for the technical cooperation of basic education and combating illiteracy.
Peña Nieto, who considers the Caribbean island’s social, successes and contribution to Latin American integration exemplary, told how the two nations have re-opened political talks at the highest level and have progressed on the amplification of their ties on a range of fronts.
He described as historic the feats of Fidel Castro, historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, who had chosen Mexico as the land from which to launch his initiative to liberate Cuba.
He was speaking at the Quinta Monte Molina, which has extensive archives relating to ties between the city and Cuba, and from where the Cuban leader greeted state dignitaries from the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and the National Supreme Court of Justice.
Raul Castro recognized the support given to Cuba by Mexico in the struggle against the more than half a century old economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed on Havana by Washington. He recalled that Mexico was the only country in the region which had not broken their ties during what was a particularly delicate time for Cuba.
He described feeling honored by the warmth of his welcome, adding that Mexico and Cuba enjoyed a special relationship based not only on geographic proximity but also on a shared experience of struggle, cultural ties and sentiments of solidarity which have been put to test.
He referred to surviving legacies created by the Cuban Apostle, José Martí, the poet José María Heredia, the communist activist Julio Antonio Mella and the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro who in Mexico prepared the expedition that resulted in the ousting of the Batista dictatorship and set Cuba on the road to social justice and liberty.
Raul Castro noted that in his country’s inclusion in the Summit of the Americas, the reestablishment of relations with the U.S. and in the recent almost unanimous call by the United Nations General Assembly for the lifting of Washington’s blockade, worldwide solidarity and especially that of Latin America and the Caribbean “in which Mexico has played a leading role” was present.
He expressed his satisfaction with the interest of the Mexican business community in investing in Cuba, particularly in the Mariel Special Development Zone, a deep water port to the west of Havana.
Mexico‘s renowned experience in agriculture and tourism constitute an important support to the actualization process of the economic model underway in Cuba, he said.
The La Jornada newspaper reported that the two countries were enjoying a reunion, following three Mexican administrations that oversaw the worst ever deterioration of their relations.Share on FB Share on TT