HAVANA – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday met with Cuban President Raul Castro, as soon as he landed in Havana, during an official visit to strengthen political ties and to affirm a long standing personal relationship with Raul Castro.
“The friendship between your family and mine is long and deep, but it’s nothing compared to the true friendship between all Canadians and all Cubans, and I look forward to continuing to build on that,” Trudeau said.
The Canadian prime minister’s visit comes 40 years after his father Pierre Trudeau’s historic trip to the island.
Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire paid homage to Cuban national hero Jose Marti at Havana’s Plaza de la Revolucion. Later, Raul Castro received the Canadian prime minister at the Palace of the Revolution in a formal ceremony followed by bilateral talks.
At the meeting, Raul Castro highlighted “the historic and uninterrupted ties between both nations, an example of respectful and mutually beneficial relations,” according to a Cuban government official statement.
The two leaders “reviewed the satisfactory state of bilateral relations and reiterated the willingness of both governments to strengthen political and economic ties,” the statement added.
Trudeau is scheduled to speak to students at the University of Havana and give a press conference before leaving for Argentina, his second stop of his first visit to Latin America since he took office at the end of last year.