Mogherini Visits Cuba For 2nd Meeting of the EU-Cuba Joint Council
On 9 September 2019, Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, visited Havana, Cuba, to attend the EU-Cuba joint council, under the framework of the Political Cooperation and Dialogue Agreement. Before continuing her trip to Mexico and Colombia, Mogherini, alongside Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez, reaffirmed the path of dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Cuba and emphasized the importance of transatlantic relations with other countries beyond the United States.
Under the agreement that took effect in 2017, the two parties restated the continued exchange on issues such as sustainable development, agriculture, and human rights. The European Union, Cuba's leading trading partner and investor is ready to financially support an economic opening of the island.
“Our Agreement can help boost economic collaboration, including trade and investment [...]. We are ready to accompany Cuba in this process with our cooperation as well," states Mogherini. Since the start of the Agreement two years ago, the European Union has tripled its development funds for Cuba from EUR 50 million to EUR 140 million.
Concerning US foreign policy and the implementation of the Helms-Burton Act, the EU positioned itself with Cuba and in favor of dialogue and openness. "The European Union considers the extraterritorial application of unilateral coercive measures illegal and will resort to all appropriate measures to protect its legitimate interests, its citizens and its companies", Mogherini said. Finally, there were also dialogues held on the situation and cooperation of the region and in particular about the crisis in Venezuela.