The State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America, Fernando Garcia Casas, visited the island of Cuba on 27 and 28 February.
The State Secretary’s schedule included political, economic, cultural and cooperation events and meetings.
The State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America held political consultations with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez and with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Sierra, with whom he reviewed the state of bilateral relations as well as a range of issues of international current affairs, with a particular focus on Ibero-America. The State secretary invited the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba to visit Spain.
At an economic level, Fernando Garcia Casas held a meeting with a group of Spanish business leaders with interests in Cuba, as well as with the Vice-President of the Council of Ministers and Minister for Economy and Planning, Ricardo Cabrisas and with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade and Investment, Antonio Carricarte. The State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America was able to see first-hand the needs of Spanish companies operating in Cuba and, furthermore, explore with the local authorities ways to step up and improve collaboration on economic issues and investment, particularly in light of the economic reforms being implemented in the country.
In relation to Spanish cooperation on the island, Fernando García Casas reviewed the degree of implementation of the different programmes being developed by the Technical Cooperation Office as well as the points of view of some of the Spanish NGOs operating in Cuba with whose representatives he held a working meeting.
Fernando García Casas was also able to exchange impressions with a group of former interns under the various programmes of the Carolina Foundation, which promotes training and the creation of professional networks in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America also met with representatives of the Council of Spanish Residents (Spanish acronym: CRE) on the island, with whom he exchanged impressions on the growing Spanish community in Cuba and their main needs.
To end, the State Secretary for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America visited the Higher Institute of Art (Spanish acronym: ISA) and held a working meeting with the Deputy Minister of Culture, Kenelma Carvajal, to analyse different areas of cooperation between the two countries, as well as the possibilities to develop this through new projects.
Fernando García Casas also met with the Director of the Spanish Education Centre in Havana, and later with representatives of the Cuban world of culture, with whom he saw first-hand the state of development of the different cultural areas in the country.
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