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My mission to Cuba today aims to take stock of our bilateral cooperation, better understand the socio-economic challenges, and explore future prospects and opportunities for greater impact on Cuba’s development.
Since the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Cuba entered into provisional force on November 2017, five dialogues have taken place in the areas of human rights; unilateral coercive measures; control of conventional arms and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Meanwhile, our cooperation with Cuba has evolved to higher levels – we will reach over EUR 100 million (some 2,600 million CUPs) in our cooperation portfolio this year – and greater depth in sector dialogues, particularly in the fields of agriculture, renewable energy, economic modernisation, climate change and culture.
During this visit we will review how our cooperation in supporting Cuba’s sustainable development, with a focus on the modernisation of the economy. As I stated in my speech, the European Union continues to strongly oppose the extraterritorial application of unilateral Cuba-related measures that are contrary to international law. We are worried about the negative impact of the tightening of the United States’ embargo and the recent US travel restrictions on the Cuban economy and the Cuban people’s living standards.
Hence the relevance of addressing this Foro Cuba Negocios and enhancing the role of EU support in this challenging context. We wish to further support Cuba’s commitment to improve the investment environment in order to encourage business and financial actors from the European Union to explore joint ventures in Cuba’s main priority development sectors. In this line, I will sign today an additional amount of almost EUR 4 million (over 100 million CUPs) to expand our cooperation for the economic modernisation in the country, including the development of a one-stop window to facilitate trade and investments with Cuba.
I will also hold bilateral meetings in this regard with members of Cuba’s Government and Ambassadors of European Union Member States.
(For more information: Carlos Martin Ruiz De Gordejuela – Tel. +32229 65322 ,Yanet Toirac +5352853381, local press officer EUDEL Havana)