Brazil receives Cuban Foreign Minister

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Sunday, February 6, 2005

BRASILIA, Brazil —The Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations Felipe Peréz Roque visited Brazil on February 2-3. He met Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations Celso Amorim.

According to the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations website, the objective of the visit was to intensify the dialogue and to fortify the cooperation between Brazil and Cuba, giving attention to the development of high level agreements between the governments.

On February 2, the Cuban minister was received by the Brazilian Senate President José Sarney, the President of the Chamber of Deputies João Paulo Cunha and by the Chief of Staff José Dirceu.

On February 3, Roque met Lula da Silva and Amorim. During the meeting, he mentioned that he was carrying a personal message from the Cuban President Fidel Castro to Lula da Silva. "We express to Lula Cuba's affection for the project of integration of Latin America," he added.

Roque also said that Cuba supports the candidacy of Brazil for the UN Security Council: "We hold the same position as Brazil in favor of a multipolar world, a world in which the UN's role and authority are strengthened, concurrently with a profound reform and democratization of the United Nations."

Roque and Amorim discussed the situation in Haiti. He reiterated that Cuba keeps a contrary position to the form as Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide left power.

During the visit, the Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations, Felipe Peréz Roque, also met parents of Brazilian students studying in Havana, delegates from the Landless Workers Movement (MST), delegates from labour unions and delegates from student organizations which expressed solidarity to the cause of the Cuban Revolution.

Brazil-Cuba relationship

Brazilian diplomatic relations with Cuba were suspended in 1964, and reestablished in 1986. Bilateral relations between Brazil and Cuba have strengthened since then, particularly in the past few years. The Brazilian government advocates the end of the US embargo against Cuba. The Brazilian government says the unilateral application of economic and commercial sanctions for political purposes violates the principles of international law. [1]

Cuba purchased 480 buses from Brazil for collective transportation in Havana and between provinces in 2000. The Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) participates in the funding of an project aimed at the modernization of the Cuban sugar industry.

The President of Cuba, Fidel Castro, has visited Brazil several times, most recently in September 1998, June 1999, September 2001, and January 2003.