EU Opens First Cuba Office

World | March 11, 2003, Tuesday // 00:00

The European Union has opened its first diplomatic office in Cuba. The ceremony was attended by the European Commissioner for Economic Development, Poul Nielsen, and the Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque. Both sides are hoping that the opening of the new office will help strengthen relations. An elegant villa in the upmarket western district of Havana, now the European Union's headquarters in Cuba, will be occupied by a permanent representative and three local staff. At a small ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the house, European and Cuban representatives both spoke of a new era in relations. It has not always been a happy relationship, with the European Union particularly critical of communist-led Cuba's human rights record.

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