Cuban trip

Germany’s Man in Havana

steinmeier in havanna getting a tour_dpa
Looking forward.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Cuba for the first time in years, which may pave the way for economic relations between Germany and the Caribbean island.

  • Facts


    • On December 17, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama officially ended Cold War relations between Cuba and the United States and removed the island from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
    • Since then, three high-ranking European delegates have come to Cuba to repair relations, including French President François Hollande.
    • The last time a foreign minister from Germany came to Cuba was in 1902.
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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.

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