PANAMA.—Prior to the inauguration of the 7th Summit of the Americas, Raúl met with Thomas Donohue, president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and later with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in the Hotel Plaza Paitilla Inn, where the Army General is staying.
During the meeting with Donohue, topics of interest to Cuba and the United States, in the new context of restoring relations between the two countries, were discussed. The economic, financial and commercial blockade continues to be an unresolved issue.
Also attending the meeting were the Vice President of the Americas for the International Division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jodi Hanson; and Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, as well as Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra Díaz and the Director General for the United States of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations, Josefina Vidal.
Donohue was in Cuba in May of last year, leading a delegation of executives and officials of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. On that occasion he also met with Raúl, gave a lecture in the Aula Magna of the University of Havana and visited several cooperatives and the Mariel Special Development Zone.
Regarding the meeting with Ban Ki-moon, it emerged that issues such as the importance that the island attaches to strengthening the UN, multilateralism, the promotion of the principles agreed in the United Nations Charter, disarmament, peace and social economic development were discussed. They also considered the post-2015 Development Agenda, whose indicators must be measurable, objective and realistic.
Regarding the negotiating process between Cuba and the United States, Ban Ki-moon expressed the readiness of the UN to cooperate with both countries in this new bilateral space.
Ban Ki-moon was accompanied by his Chef de Cabinet, Susana Malcorra; Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman; and Alicia Barcena, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Sources at the Cuban Foreign Ministry noted the cordiality of the meeting, a similar atmosphere to that when the UN Secretary-General visited Cuba on the occasion of the Second CELAC Summit and met with the Army General and other leaders of the country.