The kings of Spain visit Havana for its 500 years


The kings of Spain this week they make a historic trip to Cuba on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Havana, which seeks to mark the beginning of a new stage in bilateral relations between both countries.

The Spanish monarchs will arrive tomorrow night, Monday, in Havana and will not have official acts until Tuesday.
The trip has not been exempt from the controversy, because it coincides with the days after a disputed legislative election in Spain, but also because it will not hold meetings with the internal opposition, something that has been criticized by the Spanish conservative political parties.

Spanish diplomacy has justified that it does not meet with dissent because the monarchs never interfere in their travels in the internal affairs of the countries they visit, so they will only maintain an exchange with some representatives of the new Cuban middle classes, who are modestly emerging in the economic self-employment sector, in addition to independent journalists and the world of culture.
The King of Spain will also have an encounter with Spanish entrepreneurs who work on the island every day. Spain is the third largest trading partner of Cuba with almost $ 1.4 billion in exchange last year and is only surpassed by strategic political partners, such as China and Venezuela.
The agenda on the island of Felipe VI and Queen Letizia has wanted to have a strong cultural character and Spanish diplomacy has strived to highlight that it breaks with a historical anomaly: Until now a Spanish King had never made a state visit to Cuba, a country that was a Spanish colony until 1898 and the last to become independent from the metropolis.
In 1999 the now emeritus king Juan Carlos visited Havana, but it was within the framework of the Ibero-American Summit and he repeated a trip in 2016, but this time it was for the funerals of former President Fidel Castro. So this visit can be considered historic and more at a time of strong tensions on the island with the administration of Republican Donald Trump.

The Kings close their tour on Thursday in eastern Santiago de Cuba, with a tribute to the Spanish soldiers and sailors who died in 1898 in the defense of the city against US troops in an unequal battle and that the defeat meant the loss of the last possessions of the Spanish empire.
Then Havana will start its fifth centenary parties, with a program full of activities for Friday night and all day on Saturday.

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