The state visit made by the president of Cuba, Raúl Castro to France from February 1-2 opened a new chapter in the longestablished relations between Havana and Paris, that according to political analysts in both capitals confirms the excellent state of bilateral links between the two countries and also reflects the shared will to consolidate the political dialogue at the highest of levels.
By diplomatic means it was brought to our attention that this was the first time that a Cuban president had made a state visit to France and therefore also to a member state of the European Union.
Raúl Castro was received by the French president François Hollande in the Elíseo Palace, a majestic building situated in the very heart of Paris, for a round of official conversations that were followed by the signing of various accords by their respective governments and public declarations in which both presidents confirmed their will to strengthen the bilateral relation.
According to the press, among the signed accords was the treatment of Cuba’s debt, which was highlighted by President Raúl Castro who reiterated his gratitude towards the French government for their significant role in achieving the historical accord with the Paris Club.
The other signed documents refer to the economic and commercial agenda, the negotiations for the establishment on the island of the French Development Agency, bilateral cooperation and the development of fair trade between both countries.
President Hollande repeated on this occasion the French government’s opposition towards the economic, financial and commercial embargo that the United States has maintained on Cuba for more than 50 years. He said that the unilateral policy of punishment should be permanently lifted. In the international political circles note was taken of the desired manifest of the French President to accompany Cuba on the road to the opening for which the country has opted.
We would like to go one step ahead, said Hollande, and the documents that we have signed are a step in the right direction. We have opened up a new chapter in the links between both countries.
Official sources of the Cuban delegation indicated that the conversations between the presidents Raúl Castro and François Hollande explored a range of themes including human rights.
In his public declaration after speaking with Hollande, the Cuban president pointed out that the recently concluded conversations had taken place in a cordial atmosphere of mutual respect. He also underlined that both countries are united by historical and cultural links and by deep bonds of friendship.
According to the Cuban president, the economic bilateral agenda signed with France represents an important joint mechanism for the production, monitoring and promotion of economic and commercial links of cooperation and investment including medium and long term links.
The Cuban president welcomed the will expressed by the gala authorities to accompany Cuba and participate actively in the countries social and economic plans for development. He also restated the commitment to the French government to continue this solid relation as France is, has been, and always will be an important friend of Cuba, he declared.
In this regard, he ratified the will to expand the bilateral relations in all dimensions: politics, economics, commerce, finance, and in academic and cultural cooperation.Share on FB Share on TT