Monday 11 December 2017

Francois Hollande becomes first French president to visit Cuba

Francois Hollande
Francois Hollande

Francois Hollande has become the first French president to visit Cuba, using a one-day trip to build business and diplomatic relations five months after a detente between Havana and Washington.

Mr Hollande is to meet Cuban President Raul Castro, as well as inaugurating a new building for the French cultural centre

He said France "will be a faithful ally" of Cuba as it develops and re-enters the global economic system.

Read more: US President Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro vow to reach for peace

Mr Hollande is also bringing along French business people who might help with trade development. Those include representatives of the Pernod Ricard, hotel company Accor, Air France, supermarket Carrefour and the Orange telecommunications company.

The visit follows a December announcement that the Obama administration will start to ease restrictions on Cuba after more than a half-century of hostility, opening opportunities for US businesses.

Press Association

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