The European Union and Cuba are “reconfirming” their diplomatic and economic ties this week as EU Foreign Policy Director Federica Mogherini visits the Caribbean nation.
We are "reconfirming the strong relationship between the EU and Cuba," Mogherini said.
"We're looking toward implementing the ambitious Political Dialogue and Cooperation Accords," which the two sides mutually signed in 2016.
On the EU official’s agenda is participation in the Cuban conference, "The EU and Latin America." On Thursday, Mogherini will speak with Esteban Lazo, president of country’s People's Power Assemblies. In addition, Mogherini will meet with her Cuban diplomatic counterpart, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, and will hold a meeting with Foreign Commerce Minister Rodrigo Malmierca.
This is the diplomat’s first visit to Cuba since signing the government accords in November 2016. The agreement eliminated certain political conditions that the EU had long established as necessary “conditions” before it would strengthen relations with the Caribbean nation.
The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Accords between the two entities still need to be ratified by all 28 EU nations before taking effect.
Mogherini described the accords signing as “positive” and said she looked forward to “profound collaboration.” She also said that as a result of her previous visit, the two sides created a program that includes EU investment of over US$60 million in Cuba until 2020, which will be focused particularly toward the nation’s agricultural sector.
The diplomat's visit to Cuba comes shortly after the U.S. government added additional restrictive economic provisions to its over 60-year-old blockade on its neighboring island nation.