Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Spanish foreign minister - Visit to Cuba is going "well"

Spanish foreign minister: Visit to Cuba is going "well"
Published November 24, 2014 EFE

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said Monday that
his first official visit to Cuba "is going well," after meeting with
Cuban authorities and speaking with them about the state of Spain-Cuba
relations and relations between Cuba and the European Union.

"The visit is going well, how could it be otherwise? ... We've talked
about cooperation projects and we're speaking, as is natural, with Cuban
political authorities," said Garcia-Margallo in a brief appearance
before the media after heading a conference on the Spanish transition
from dictatorship to democracy.

The head of Spain's diplomatic corps on his first day of meetings in
Cuba held discussions with Cuban Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca and
with State Council Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas.

In his discussion of Spain's transition to democracy, during which he
made no comparison with Cuba's situation, Garcia-Margallo said that "one
of the wise decisions" made during the process was that "first the
freedoms of association and expression were recovered and after that the
right to vote."

"These freedoms exercised during the year-and-a-half prior to the first
democratic elections of 1977 facilitated a national exchange of opinions
and a mature public opinion was created that went to vote with full
awareness," said the foreign minister.

Garcia-Margallo said that the keys that made Spain's transition to
democracy possible were respect for legality, consensus and the common
desire to avoid confrontation in the pursuit of agreement.

He also emphasized the importance of the 1977 amnesty as one of the
factors that contributed most toward clearing the way for the
promulgation of the 1978 Constitution.

Garcia-Margallo's official visit will continue on Tuesday with a meeting
with his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez, and he is also scheduled to
be received by President Raul Castro.

He also said he would meet with Spaniards who live in Cuba, whose
numbers will increase "from 40,000 to 400,000" with the Historical
Memory Law that will grant Spanish citizenship to the grandchildren of
Spaniards who emigrated to Cuba. EFE

Source: Spanish foreign minister: Visit to Cuba is going "well" | Fox
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