Mexico's Calderon to visit Cuba, seek better relations

April 11, 2012 04:29


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HAVANA - Mexican President Felipe Calderon will visit Cuba on Wednesday for a quick trip to patch up bruised relations with the communist island and discuss possible business ventures, including oil deals.

With just seven months remaining in his six-year term, it will be Calderon's first trip to Cuba after he angrily canceled a planned 2009 visit when the Cuban government suspended flights between the countries at the height of the swine flu scare.

He is scheduled to meet Cuban President Raul Castro and, according to press reports, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the leader of Cuba's Roman Catholic Church. It is not known if he will see former Cuban ruler Fidel Castro, who retired in 2008 but still meets with visiting leaders.

Calderon will arrive at midday on Wednesday and leave Thursday morning on his way to Haiti and then attend the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

Cuba and Mexico enjoyed friendly relations until the administration of Vicente Fox, who in 2000 broke the center-left Institutional Revolutionary Party's 71-year grip on power in Mexico by winning the presidency.

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