HAVANA TIMES — Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will make an official visit to Cuba in late January in his effort towards improved relations with the island and also to attend a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), reported dpa news.
The visit of Peña Nieto, his first to Cuba since taking office in December 2012, shows his intention to consolidate ties with the island, after more than a decade of distancing during the conservative PAN governments that preceded his presidency.
“President Peña Nieto will meet with President Castro to discuss the relaunching and the relevance in all aspects of the two country’s bilateral relations,” said assistant Foreign Affairs secretary Vanessa Rubio.
The CELAC summit takes place on January 28-29 and the bilateral part of Peña Nieto’s visit will take place after it concludes, noted dpa.
Back in November the Mexican government took an important step in the rapproachment with Cuba by pardoning 70% of the island’s debt of 487 million dollars, accumulated during the 1990s.
Mexico is the only country of the region that maintained diplomatic relations with Cuba after Fidel Castro proclaimed the socialist nature of his revolution in the early 1960s.
The close ties were maintained under the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI), in power through 2000. Then a distancing took place under the PAN administrations of Vicente Fox (2000-2006) and Felipe Calderon (2006-2012).