Germany to revive Cuban ties after 2003 break
24 November 2007
BERLIN – The German government aims to send a high-ranking government
official from the Economics Ministry to Cuba early next year, ending a
break in diplomatic ties called for by the European Union in 2003, a
news report said Saturday.
Der Spiegel news magazine reported that Economics Miniser Michael Glos
wanted to send Bernd Pfaffenbach to the Caribbean state in February.
Pfaffenbach holds the rank of state secretary in the ministry and
doubles as Chancellor Angela Merkel's sherpa at economics summits, like
that of the Group of Eight (G8).
He would be the first high-ranking German government official to have
contact with the communist regime since the EU cut back diplomatic ties
in 2003 in protest at Cuba's human rights record.
German development aid was frozen at the same time.
Der Spiegel reported the aim of the visit was to enhance economic ties
and that the plans were already running into opposition from memb of
Merkel's conservative Christian bloc (CDU/CSU).
Among the interests Pfaffenbach trip is to secure are sales of German
medical technology and access to Cuba's nickel deposits.