Justin Trudeau Begins His Cuba Visit

Hopes to relaunch economic ties

Justin Trudeau (c) in Revolution Square Havana to pay tribute to Jose Marti with his wife Sophie Grégoire and Cuba's First Vice President Miguel Diaz Canel. Photo: Ladyrene Pérez/ Cubadebate
Justin Trudeau (c) in Revolution Square Havana to pay tribute to Jose Marti with his wife Sophie Grégoire and Cuba’s First Vice President Miguel Diaz Canel. Photo: Ladyrene Pérez/ Cubadebate

HAVANA TIMES – Cuban President Raul Castro welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his first official visit to the island, which seeks to strengthen economic and trade relations, reported dpa news.

Trudeau was received with military honors at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana and later met with Raul Castro behind closed doors, according to images broadcast by the state television.

In 2015, the two countries had an economic exchange of 800 million dollars, making Canada the fourth trading partner of Cuba.

Canada is also the leading source country of tourists to the island, with 1.3 million visitors in 2015, representing about 40 percent of the total.

Trudeau is expected to deliver a keynote speech at the University of Havana on Wednesday and in the afternoon to hold a press conference.

His brief stay in Havana is the first stop on a tour that also includes Argentina and Peru, where he will attend a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Association.

Cuban media have highlighted in recent days the close personal ties between his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and former Cuban President Fidel Castro during the 1970s.

The two countries have strong historical ties. Canada and Mexico, were the only countries in the region that did not support the United States in breaking diplomatic relations after the revolutionary triumph of 1959.

Under the mandate of the conservative Stephen Harper, several secret meetings were held in Canada that led to the beginning of the “thaw” in late 2014 between Cuba and the United States after decades of conflict.

7 thoughts on “Justin Trudeau Begins His Cuba Visit

  • November 25, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Margaret has bipolar disorder and no, I don’t have “an issue” with her over that. On the contrary I admire her honesty and advocacy for mental health.

    Just saying that Margaret was never considered very smart (Pierre complained of that).

  • November 24, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Do you have an issue with people who suffer from depression?

  • November 21, 2016 at 11:56 am

    LOL! Justin Trudeau is certainly “progressive”, but nobody has ever accused him of being very intelligent. He inherited his mother’s brains, not his father’s.

  • November 20, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    I envy Canadians because they have a very intelligent and progressive man running their country, not like that orange piece of s–t that will be soon be in charge of the U.S.

  • November 18, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    I’m appalled at Sophie Grégoire Trudeau for saying,

    “Cuba’s leaders are already very open-minded and open-hearted.”

    Not a word about the rising political repression, the weekly arrests and assaults on the Ladies in White, nor the lack of respect for human rights in Cuba under the Castro dictatorship.

  • November 16, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Proud to be a Canadian to-day. A nice breath of fresh air. Hope he gets to have a visit with Fidel. Fidel was very close with Justin’s father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who supported the Revolution and was against the US policy of aggression. A policy which started in the 1960’s against the Cuban Government and that continues to this day. Shameful.

  • November 16, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Have a nice visit, Justin. Just don’t let Sophie sing at the formal dinner, please.

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