Mon. Dec 16th, 2019

Cuba prepares to receive the Kings on their first state visit

After four hundred years of common history and another century of intense distance relationship, for the first time the king of Spain make a state visit to Cuba. A journey, longly longed for by the king Juan Carlos, which for almost 40 years was a pending issue of the successive governments of democracy, since Adolfo Suarez until Mariano Rajoy, and finally the king will star Philip with Pedro Sanchez as acting president and the day after a general election.

The speed with which Foreign has set the visit contrasts with the difficulties to schedule a trip that in recent decades has been aborted several times. Especially significant was the opposition of Jose Maria Aznar that King Juan Carlos traveled to Cuba in 1998 on the occasion of the first centenary of the loss of the last Spanish province in America. Both during the time of Suárez, the first Spanish president who visited Cuba, and especially during the 14 years in which Felipe Gonzalez He was president of the government, Fidel Castro He showed his desire to receive King Juan Carlos, who, for his part, always wanted to travel to Cuba. The pressure from the United States to the governments of Spain, more evident in Aznar's time, was always behind the lack of realization of a state trip. King Juan Carlos was finally able to step on Cuban soil on the occasion of the celebration in Havana of the Iberoamerican Summit and also attended funerals in 2016 for Fidel Castro.

The head of state will pay tribute to Admiral Cervera, to whom Colau took his street in Barcelona

The celebration this week of the 500th anniversary of the foundation of Havana has led, finally, to the concretion of the visit, although the political interinity has also devoid of content. The speech that the King will deliver on Tuesday at the dinner that the president will offer Miguel Diaz-Canel It will focus on the intensity of the historical relationship between the two countries and on the emotional ties that unite Cubans and Spaniards. It will be the closing of a day that will begin with the official welcome and a floral offering to Jose Marti. On Wednesday the Kings will tour the streets of Old Havana, meet with the Spanish community, and the King will hold a meeting with Spanish businessmen with interests on the island. The Kings will also hold a meeting with personalities of Cuban society, but not with dissent.

On Thursday, on their way back to Spain, the Kings will make a stop in Santiago, where they will visit the Morro Castle to pay tribute to the more than 300 crew members killed in the sinking of Admiral Cervera's fleet, destroyed by the battleships of United States, and the hill of San Juan, where 600 Spanish soldiers perished. Admiral Cervera, to whom the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, withdrew the street that bore his name on the Barceloneta, is considered a hero in Cuba for facing with honor a battle that he knew lost and that he fought for his duty to obey the orders of the government presided by the liberal Práxedes Mateo Sagasta.

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