MADRID – The Cuban minister of foreign affairs, currently on an official visit to Spain, announced on Monday he had extended an invitation to the King of Spain and the country’s prime minister to visit the Caribbean island.
According to Spain’s foreign affairs minister, Alfonso Dastis, the official visit to Cuba by King Felipe VI and PM Mariano Rajoy will take place “as soon as possible.”
Both foreign affairs ministers met in Madrid, highlighting what they described as the excellent relations that currently exist between the two countries.
Cuba’s top diplomat, Bruno Rodriguez, had met earlier with the Spanish monarch and Spain’s PM and invited both to visit Cuba.
He also met with the president of the Spanish lower house, Ana Pastor.
If the visit does take place, it would be the first official bilateral visit by a Spanish prime minister since 1986, when Socialist Felipe Gonzalez visited the island.
Spain’s conservative president, Jose Maria Aznar (PP), went to Cuba in 1999 but within the framework of the Ibero-American summit that took place that year in Havana.
The visit would also be Felipe VI’s first visit to Cuba.
His father King Juan Carlos last visited the island in 2016 to attend Fidel Castro’s state funeral.
Dastis said that the King of Spain would “reply very soon” to the invitation, adding that both nations are set to work together to guarantee the visit’s “auspicious conditions” and ensure it is a complete success.
Rodriguez, on his part, said there were now “very favorable” conditions to enable both Spain and Cuba to deepen their bilateral relationship.
Spain is Cuba’s third-largest trading partner and its eighth most important source of tourism, while Spanish businesses on the island hold a “preeminent” position, stressed Rodriguez.