Hugo Swire first UK minister to visit Cuba in almost decade
Foreign Office minister to meet senior government figures on communist
island to discuss trade, investment and concerns about human rights
By Danny Boyle9:42AM GMT 31 Oct 2014
Hugo Swire has become the first British Government minister to visit
Cuba in almost 10 years.
He will meet senior government figures to discuss trade and investment
as well as raise UK concerns about the human rights situation on the
Mr Swire, a Foreign Office minister, said: “It has been too long since a
UK minister was in Cuba, but I’m very happy to rectify that.
“Although we naturally have our differences, we work together where we
can, including on the response to the Ebola epidemic, where Cuba is
playing a vital international role.
“Cuba is sending hundreds of medical professionals to UK-run facilities
in Sierra Leone on top of staff already in that country and in Guinea.
“I am proud that we can work together on such an important cause, and
one which the UK has committed £205m to tackling. It has the potential
to become a global problem and as such needs a global solution.”
The Foreign Office said Mr Swire arrived in Cuba on Wednesday and leaves
the Caribbean island on Saturday.
A spokesman said he will call on ministers responsible for foreign
affairs as well as trade, health and tourism to discuss ways Britain can
build on its work in the country.
Mr Swire was also due to meet Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban
president Raúl Castro and the niece of former president Fidel Castro.
Source: Hugo Swire first UK minister to visit Cuba in almost decade –