President Chinchilla meets with Cuba’s Raúl Castro

Casa Presdiencial photo
President Chinchilla chats with Raúl Castro

President Laura Chinchilla met with Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro Sunday during a gathering of national leaders in Santiago, Chile. The meeting was historic because Costa Rica has spent decades without diplomatic relations with Communist Cuba.

Former president Óscar Arias Sánchez renewed relations March 18, 2009. Foreign minister Enrique Castillo visited the island nation earlier this month.

Casa Presidencial said the meeting involved discussion over education, culture, health and environment.

Raúl Castro is the brother of Fidel Castro.

Cuba will preside at this year’s meeting of the Cumbre de la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y el Caribe, which met in Chile over the weekend. Costa Rica will preside in 2014.

Costa Rica has been a refuge for many Cubans who fled their home country due to its repressive policies. Recently Cuba has said that its citizens could travel to other countries without any official permission. Of course, only the elite have the money for tourism.

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