Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz bid President François Hollande farewell at José Martí International Airport, yesterday May 12, thus concluding the French leader’s visit which began May 10. The trip marked an important milestone as the first by a French head of state to Cuba.
After conversing briefly within the airport treminal, Raúl accompanied Hollande to his plane, which proceeded to Haiti, the President’s last stop on his Caribbean tour. Hollande thanked the Cuban leader for the “very useful” visit and predicted that many other Presidents would soon visit the island.
As the French President’s airplane prepared to depart, Raúl addressed journalists gathered on the tarmac, summarizing the activities in which the visiting dignitary participated.
Asked about prospects for Cuba’s relations with the European Union, Raúl emphasized the upcoming Summit in Brussels between the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the EU.
Referring to the updating of Cuba’s economic model, he commented that the process was moving forward “at our own pace,” adding, “Many criticize us for going slow, and I ask myself why we need to hurry, just to make mistakes… We don’t want to take any steps that might sacrifice our people, this is the most important and our people understand that.”