On the second leg of a European tour, Cuba’s foreign minister was in Brussels Wednesday to meet with his EU counterpart Federica Mogherini.
At a joint press conference after the talks, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla said the meeting had been productive.
“I feel we have achieved progress, that we have moved forward in a mutually respectful and constructive spirit on a reciprocal basis in order to a strengthen the relations and comprehensive cooperation between the EU and Cuba.”
EU-Cuba relations have been steadily improving in recent years and Mogherini was in Havana for talks last month.
The two countries plan to finalize a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement by the end of the year, something that will bring positive results for Cuban society, says MEP Ramon Jauregui, chairs of the Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.
“I think Cuba’s opening to democracy and full respect for human rights will come largely through doors opened by these agreements with the United States and Europe: technological doors, economic doors, and the exchange of people,” he told euronews on Wednesday (April 22). “All this will probably mean that Cuban socialism will also will have to become more democratic.”
Parrillo’s visit comes weeks after a historic handshake between US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro. In December, America said it would reestablish ties with the communist nation for the first time in half a century.
In another historical first, Cuba says it will discuss the thorny question of human rights at an EU-Latin American summit in June.