SANTIAGO – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Cuban President Raul Castro met for the first time at the CELAC-EU summit in Chile, Spanish officials said.
The summit provided Castro with his first opportunity to meet a Spanish prime minister since officially becoming head of state on Feb. 24, 2008, after initially serving as Cuba’s interim president following his brother Fidel’s illness.
Fidel Castro stepped down from the presidency after being stricken by a serious illness in July 2006.
Rajoy and Castro greeted each other on Saturday and had a brief conversation, Spanish officials said.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo is scheduled to meet with his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez, on Sunday.
Garcia-Margallo is expected to thank Rodriguez for the Cuban government’s decision to send Angel Carromero, a leader of the youth wing of Spain’s governing Popular Party, home to serve the rest of a four-year sentence for vehicular manslaughter on the island.
Carromero was convicted and sentenced in Cuba for a July 2012 car accident in which prominent Cuban dissident Osvaldo Paya and another government opponent were killed.