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Pedro Sanchez begins a visit to Cuba without appointments with the dissent

The president Peter Sanchez will arrive this Thursday to Havana for a visit of barely 24 hours during which you will not see with any dissident, although with i

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Pedro Sanchez begins a visit to Cuba without appointments with the dissent

The president Peter Sanchez will arrive this Thursday to Havana for a visit of barely 24 hours during which you will not see with any dissident, although with intellectuals, artists and entrepreneurs who are part of a civil society independent of the regime, nor addicted, nor opposition. Sanchez and his cuban counterpart, Miguel Diaz-Canel, will inaugurate a business forum in the hotel Gran Packard, managed by the Spanish chain Iberostar, which has just been included by the Administration Trump in the black list of entities of the island.

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The first visit to Cuba of a Spanish president in 32 years is a minefield in which every gesture is measured to the nearest millimeter, and any slip-up can derail a plan carefully prepared. Therefore, the two Governments have negotiated all of the steps of Pedro Sánchez in Havana, including your stroll through the old town, restored with the support of the Spanish cooperation.

Since he announced the trip to Cuba, the PP and Citizens have pressured the head of the Government to enforce the democratization of the regime and make a hole in his schedule to meet with the dissidents. “Are you going to defend human rights in Cuba? What is going to meet with dissidents or going solo seller?”, barked the leader of Citizens, Albert Rivera, the last day 24 in the plenary session of the Congress. “Am I willing to defend human rights in Cuba? The answer is yes. Therefore, not only am I going seller”, replied Sanchez.

The possibility of an encounter with the dissenters more meanings, like Elizardo Sanchez, Guillermo Farinas, or "Ladies in White", is ruled out. Sources of La Moncloa allege that none of the officials that since 2015 have visited Cuba (presidents or prime ministers of France, Italy, Portugal, Ireland or Austria) what has been done. Not even the three popes who have come forth or the high representative of the EU, Federica Mogherini, who has been three times. Nor the three Foreign ministers of Rajoy. The exception was Barack Obama, who received them in march of 2016 in the newly reopened american embassy in Havana. But “Sanchez is not Obama or Spain, united States,” admits an employee of the president. It is also not scheduled any appointment with Raul Castro, who will continue up to 2021 as the first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) and the guardian of the essences revolutionary.

What will smith is to meet with prominent members of the civil society: "cuenta-propistas" (entrepreneurs), intellectuals, artists, and bloggers. Independent figures that are not aligned with the regime, but also with the opposition. Some very well known, like the actor Jorge Perugorría, the writer Leonardo Padura, prize Princess of Asturias, or the singer-songwriter Carlos Varela, and others less famous outside of Cuba, as the leaders of the webs Sneezing or Cuba Possible, the creator of the paladar La Guarida or the designers of the fashion brand Undercover. “There are dealt cards of a dissident and we have not looked at who has had or had not had problems [with the Government]. The list of invited [to the meeting with the president] has made the Spanish Embassy, without asking anyone's permission”, they assure in The Moncloa.

The same sources refuse to reveal if Sanchez will take advantage of his meeting with Diaz-Canel to ask for the release of political prisoners, because “it's not about getting medals, but to be effective, and the more you reserve, the better the result will be.”

Although the trip has a strong economic nature, it is impossible to Supertotobet isolate business from politics in Cuba. The hotel where it will be held on Friday, business forum hispanic-cuban, the Grand Packard of Havana, managed by the Spanish chain Iberostar, was included on 13 September by the Administration to Trump in the black list of cuban enterprises with which it is forbidden to make transactions. The Great Packard is participated by the group Gaviota, owned by the cuban Army, and Washington has already put in its sights to more than 200 companies associated with the armed forces, intelligence services or security forces.

In The Moncloa are fully aware of the situation of the Iberoestar, but retort that it is a Spanish hotel. "Whenever we can we go to Spanish hotels abroad to support them”, they argue.

The aim of the visit, which follows the interview that Sanchez and Diaz-Canel held in September in New York during the UN assembly, is “to normalize, stabilize and deepen the bilateral relations”. Also re-launching the investments in Cuba. Sanchez has reserved seats on the plane, official to 24 entrepreneurs, and nearly 200 have been enrolled in the forum organized by the Chambers of Commerce of Cuba and Spain. In addition to the Foreign minister, Jose Borrell, travels to Havana, the minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, the secretary-general of the Treasury, Carlos San Basilio, and the new president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, who debuts with this trip 24 hours after being picked.

The Government of Rajoy never came to normalize relations with Cuba (the attempts of the minister José Manuel García-Margallo were torpedeados from his own party). But he did much more: he condone 2,000 million euros, more than all the other countries of the world together. Part of that debt (410 million) was converted into a fund for the financing of Spanish investments on the island, which “is not what agile should be,” according to government sources. Forgiveness unlocked itself, opening new lines of credit, but Cuba has become to engage in “small delinquency” which makes it difficult to secure the investment.

The visit comes in the midst of the debate of a constitutional amendment that extended individual rights (like gay marriage) but will keep the single-party system. Sanchez has no intention of meddling in a matter that is considered internal.

The Kings will go to Havana in November, 2019

One of the results that are given by insurance of the journey from Sanchez to Cuba is the realization of the first visit of the Kings of Spain. The pretext is the fifth centenary of the foundation of Havana, which is fulfilled in 2019. Although in The Moncloa elude anticipate anything, they recognize that “an event so important it requires a high level presence”. The key date is the 16 of November, the anniversary of the 500 years of the founding of the city by the Spanish explorer Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, although the visit could occur at any time around the anniversary. If it finally occurs, will be the first time in history that the last Spanish colony in America receives a King of Spain. Juan Carlos I was in Havana in 1999, but it was on the occasion of the Summit Ibero-american, not in a bilateral visit. The journey of Sanchez will also be full of history: the president will leave on loan for two years the chair of general Maceo, one of the heroes of the independence of Cuba.

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