HAVANA TIMES, March 19 – “I confirm that there is absolutely no change in Cuba’s foreign policy,” said Bruno Rodriguez, the new foreign minister, at a press conference Wednesday during the visit by Louis Michel, European Union Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid.
Rodriguez laid to rest concerns arisen from the shake up in the Cuban government that included the removal earlier in the month of his former boss Felipe Perez Roque as the island’s foreign minister.
For his part, the European official ratified there is the “will to build on a capital of trust and the necessary conditions for normalization” of bilateral ties.
Michel arrived in Cuba on Tuesday. He has made three visits to Cuba in the last year as rapprochement between the EU and Cuba took hold with greater dialogue in 2008, when differences over events in 2003 were overcome.
At that time the EU took a stand opposing Cuba’s handling of internal subversion, which led to numerous arrests and relations hit a very low level.
Michel noted today’s changed situation at the press conference along with Perez Roque. “It’s been a year of constructive dialogue that has led to projects and concrete actions,” he said.
The official also heaped praise on Cuba for its solidarity with other poor countries. “I’m a privileged witness to everything that this country does in terms of cooperation with developing nations, especially in Africa, and I’m very committed and support joint cooperation between the European Commission, Cuba and those nations,” Michel told the press.
The EU countries went on record last year voting for a UN resolution demanding the United States drop its half century blockade against Cuba, which has also affected European businesses wanting to trade with the island do to its extra-territorial provisions.