New Zealand Embassy Mexico City
Foreign Minister Murray McCully visits Cuba, October 2012
New Zealand’s bilateral relationship with Cuba was boosted earlier this month by the visit of Foreign Minister Murray McCully to La Habana, 4-5 October. This was the first New Zealand ministerial visit to Cuba since 2002. During the visit, Minister McCully met with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, Vice-President H.E Ricardo Cabrisas, and Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca.
Additional highlights of the visit included a wreath-laying ceremony at the José Marti memorial with a highly commendable rendition of New Zealand’s national anthem “God Defend New Zealand”; a meeting with students from the Pacific Islands at the Latin America Medical School (180 Pacific Island students are currently studying in Cuba) and a visit to La Habana’s historic harbour fortress ‘Morro-Cabaña’.
Minister McCully also delivered a speech on “New Zealand’s role in multilateral diplomacy and the Asia-Pacific region” to Cuba’s Diplomatic Academy (Raul Roa Higher Institute of International Relations).
The visit was a timely opportunity to share experiences on economic updating and to understand more about the points of common interest between New Zealand and Cuba. Minister McCully invited Minister Rodriguez and Minister Malmierca to visit New Zealand.