For the first time in 113 years, a German foreign minister is visiting Cuba.
Now, after U.S. President Barack Obama took the Caribbean island off the list of terrorist states, European countries don’t want to miss out on its economic and political revival – including Germany.
“We have different political and economic systems and ideas about democracy, free speech and press freedom,” said Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a member of the Social Democrats, junior partner in Germany’s ruling right-left coalition. “But we have noticed an opening in Cuba, which we want to be a part of – and we want to assist with our experience in transformation.”
The last time a delegate from Germany came to Cuba was in 2000, when former minister for development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, a prominent left-wing member of the Social Democrats, met former Cuban president Fidel Castro. She was labelled “Red Heidi” by Germany’s weekly Der Spiegel at the time, because of her left-leaning sympathies.