Mérida, Yucatán — Mexico is looking to increase trade with Cuba as President Raul Castro makes his first state visit to Mexico, the first such trip since relations between the two countries went cold in the early 2000s, according to the Associated Press.
Among the possible outcomes of the meeting is that that both countries will achieve a long-sought multi-destination tourist link between Havana and Yucatán, notes Diario de Yucatán.
As Cuba renews diplomatic ties with the United States, Mexico sees an opportunity to expand its economic interests in Cuba.
“We believe we are in a privileged position to have more presence on the island because it’s close, we share the Caribbean Sea and because of many things,” Socorro Flores, Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for Latin America, told the news media.
Castro, who arrived in Mérida early today, will meet with his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto, later today. Peña Nieto arrived in Mérida late last night and is staying at the Hyatt Regency under heavy security.
After chilly relations under Mexico’s two previous conservative governments, Peña Nieto has made clear he wants to renew historically close ties with Cuba. He is a member of the PRI political party, which ruled for 71 years until 2000, and has maintained a respectful relationship with Cuba’s Communist government.
At midnight vehicular traffic was turned away at Calle 60 between 63 to 59, and Calle 55 between 52 and 48 at Parque Mejorada, where a ceremonial wreath is to be presented at the Niños Héroes monument.
Sources: AP, Diario de Yucatán