king Felipe VI must travel to island to express our support for cuban
Cuba is immersed in an accelerated process of normalization of its external relations. The reflection more visible beginning of that thaw was visit in march of last year by president Obama, an event — visit of an american president— to which it took 88 years old.
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Obama already had made French president, François Hollande, who had visited island in may of 2015, becoming first head of State or european Government to visit Cuba after announcement of restoring diplomatic relations between U.S. and Cuba in December of 2014. And it was followed in November of 2016 Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, with whom Cuba also maintains significant economic ties.
More recently, in July of this year, European Union overturned so-called “common position”, in force since 1996, conditioned relations between Cuba and EU to advancement of democratic rights in island, thus opening up your own period of thaw in relations in political, economic and cultural between Brussels and Havana.
With that background, announcement of Foreign minister, Alfonso Dastis, about upcoming visit to Cuba of king Philip VI must be welcome. If anything, it could be criticized for his delay: it is unacceptable that Spain is not present in Cuba with an intensity commensurate with depth of ir historical and cultural ties and importance of island for economic and commercial interests of Spain. It is inexplicable that you have to go back almost 20 years, to 1999, to meet head of State, king Juan Carlos, in Havana, and that this presence is only possible in context of an ibero-american summit, not as a decision itself.
If something has been shown time is that positions of strength over Cuba, u.s. or european, have not achieved ir objectives. Accept that fact and to review those policies does not imply to renounce to democratization of island, and giving back to legitimate aspirations of cubans to establish a regime of rights and freedoms as that enjoyed by its Latin american neighbors or european partners. Simply supposed to recognize that media, instruments of action, y must change and that it is better to be near Cuba when occurrence of changes that inevitably have to occur, that far away, isolated and without any capacity of influence.
it Is in this role of representing interests and values of Spain, as well as articulation of a Latin american community of values, in which king Felipe VI appears as an instrument of foreign policy especially valuable that should be exploited to maximum. His recent State visit to Uk is a good example of how to be present in a country and enforcing interests of Spain, without which it will deduce to endorse policies —like Brexit— with which Spanish Government can legitimately disagree. With its presence in Cuba, Philip VI will not support a Raúl Castro in withdrawal, but to a society, cuban, side of which Spain has right and obligation to accompany you in moments of change that are coming.
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