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Prince Charles visits Cuba

CUBA welcomed the heir to the British throne to Havana yesterday in a historic first official royal visit as the two countries deepen and develop trade links.

Prince Charles and Camilla’s trip is viewed as a potential new chapter in Britain’s relationship with Cuba and a stark contrast to the hostile position of the US which has imposed a crippling 60-year economic blockade of the country.

They were received by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel for an official dinner today and visited heritage areas of Old Havana where they heard about the conservation actions and activities carried out to celebrate the 500 years of the city’s existence.

The pair arrived from Barbados yesterday and were welcomed by Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Ana Teresita Gonzalez and other Cuban officials.

They laid a wreath at an official ceremony at the memorial to Cuba’s national hero, poet and revolutionary Jose Marti.  

Mr Windsor stood in silent contemplation in Havana’s Revolution Square, once the site of political rallies addressed by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Clarence House said that the Windsors will use their visit to develop other activities related to the arts, heritage restoration and sustainable agriculture.

They will also travel outside Havana to learn first-hand about sustainable agricultural practices, as well as Cuban flora and fauna.

Later this week the couple will meet with members of the Buena Vista Social Club at a recording studio in the capital.

British ambassador in Havana Antony Stokes said the trip was a chance to reflect on the growing relationship between Britain and Cuba. He explained that the countries would work together on issues such as education, biotechnology and renewable energies.

The royals will be replaced by Commonwealth Minister Lord Ahmad later this week who will be representing the British government as the countries develop stronger trade links.
 

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