HAVANA (Reuters) – The chief of the Paris Club of wealthy creditor nations met Cuban finance officials on Friday in what he believed was an unprecedented official visit to Havana to discuss the Communist-led country’s debt.
After previous negotiations had stalled in 2000, Cuba and the Paris Club have moved swiftly in the past year toward negotiations over a total debt that Paris Club President Bruno Bezard estimated at $15 billion to $16 billion, with France being the largest of the 15 creditors.
HAVANA (Reuters) – The sudden U.S. engagement with Cuba has helped the European Union’s own bilateral talks on improving relations with the Communist-led island, a top European diplomat said on Thursday at the conclusion of two days of negotiations in Havana.
When the United States and Cuba announced on Dec. 17 they would restore diplomatic relations, the rapprochement between longtime adversaries overshadowed the EU’s ongoing attempt to rewrite a political agreement with Cuba.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba and the European Union renewed talks on improving relations on Wednesday, advancing on several issues but leaving the major topics of trade and human rights until Thursday, Cuba said.
This was the third round of talks, but the first since Cuba opened a similar dialogue with the United States following the landmark announcement on Dec. 17 that the two longtime adversaries would restore diplomatic relations.
HAVANA (Reuters) – The most important U.S. agricultural delegation to visit Cuba in more than a decade began three days of meetings on Monday, hoping to find potential business partners, while urging the U.S. Congress to lift the U.S. embargo on trade with the island.
Two former agriculture secretaries, a number of state agriculture officials and representatives of various state farm bureaus are among the 95 people making the trip, which was organized by the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba. That group was formed after the Dec. 17 announcement the United States and Communist-run Cuba would restore diplomatic relations.
MIAMI/HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba is willing to restore diplomatic relations with the United States as soon as the Obama administration declares its intent to take the country off a list of state sponsors of terrorism, according to a senior Cuban official.
That could take place before both sides are ready to open embassies, Josefina Vidal, the head of the United States division at the Cuban Foreign Ministry told state media.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, 88, finally met with all five of the Cuban spies who returned home as heroes after serving long prison terms in the United States, 73 days after the last of them were freed in a prisoner swap.
It had been highly anticipated as a reunion of Cuba’s most vaunted heroes. Cuban officials have not explained why it took so long to arrange.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba would agree to restore diplomatic relations with the United States in time for the April Summit of the Americas if Washington quickly and convincingly removes the Caribbean country from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, a senior Cuban official said on Wednesday.
Diplomatic ties were severed in 1961, and negotiators for the two longtime adversaries will meet in Washington on Friday, following up on the first round of talks held in Havana last month.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba President Raul Castro on Tuesday pinned medals on five spies, declaring them national heroes for infiltrating right-wing exile groups that plotted against Havana and for then enduring long prison terms in the United States.
The final three of the “Cuban Five” returned home in a prisoner exchange on Dec. 17 – the same day the United States and Cuba announced they would restore diplomatic ties and seek to end more than half a century of confrontation.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuban cigar-maker Habanos S.A. expects to immediately gain 25 to 30 percent of the U.S. premium cigar market if the United States lifts its trade embargo and up to 70 percent of the market within a few years, the company said on Monday.
Habanos S.A., a 50-50 joint venture between the Cuban state and Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (IMT.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), generated sales of $439 million in 2014 without direct access to the U.S. market.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba has freed Canadian businessman Cy Tokmakjian after more than three years in jail, his company said on Saturday, resolving a case that had strained Cuban-Canadian relations and alarmed foreign investors.
Tokmakjian, founder of the Ontario-based company, was convicted of bribery and other charges and sentenced to 15 years in September in what the transportation company had called a “show trial” and a “travesty of justice.”