Wed. Feb 26th, 2020

The Cuban president welcomes the kings

The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, welcomed on Tuesday the kings of Spain in Havana at the beginning of his historic state visit to the island, the first bilateral character of a Spanish monarch, which coincides with the 500 Anniversary of the foundation of the capital.

Díaz-Canel received them at the headquarters of the State Council after Felipe VI and his wife Letizia made the traditional floral offering to the icon of Cuban independence, José Martí, at the memorial located in the Revolution Square.

This gesture towards the national hero opens all high-level visits of foreign leaders to the Caribbean country, where the kings arrived yesterday afternoon, Monday, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell.

"Their majesties the kings, José Martí," says the message of the crown of red roses with the Spanish flag deposited before the memorial, where they have been accompanied by the Cuban Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anayansi Rodríguez, the ambassadors of both countries and other authorities .

Before the offering, Felipe and Letizia were placed in the viewpoint of the square to take the traditional photo with the background image of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, two of the leaders of the Cuban revolution, while the hymns of the two countries were playing .

Then the kings and the entourage of authorities went on foot to the State Council building, located on the other side of the square, to meet Diaz-Canel and his wife, Lis Cuesta.

Felipe VI and Díaz-Canel will meet with the delegations of both governments that, in the presence of the two heads of state, will sign the country association framework agreement, which will lay the foundations for bilateral cooperation projects for the next years.

While this meeting is being held, the queen and Lis Cuesta will visit a workshop school and the Convent of San Francisco, in Old Havana.

The two marriages will meet again at the dinner that Díaz-Canel will offer tonight to the kings at the headquarters of the State Council.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, another dinner will be held by Felipe and Letizia at the Palace of the Captains General, where the king will deliver the most important speech of his three-day visit to Cuba, although he will speak before the Spanish community.

The Cuban president will not have any intervention in his appointments with the king.

The kings of Spain arrived yesterday, Monday, in the afternoon at the airport in Havana, where they were received by the Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez.

"Cuba receives them with warm hospitality," Rodriguez said on his Twitter account.

The start of Felipe and Letizia's trip coincided with the announcement of the government pre-agreement between the president of the Spanish Government in office, Pedro Sánchez, and the leader of United Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, after the elections held last Sunday.

The royal visit is part of the V centenary of the foundation of Havana, whose central act will take place this Saturday, the 16th, with the presence of leaders such as the Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro, but without the kings.

It is the first bilateral visit of a Spanish king to the former colony, although Juan Carlos I, with Queen Sofia, was on the island in November 1999 to participate in the Ibero-American summit.

After his abdication, Felipe VI's father returned to the island in November 2016 to attend the funeral of Fidel Castro.

. (tagsToTranslate) Cuban president (t) (t) welcomes (t) kings

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