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Cuba

Spaniard won't meet opposition

October 20, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Spain's foreign minister met with Cuban leader Raul Castro and other government leaders during an official visit that has caused a stir for who he wouldn't see: top political opposition leaders on the island.

Miguel Angel Moratinos met for nearly three hours with Castro at Havana's convention center, discussing human rights and winning a promise from the Cuban leader to repay the nearly $300 million Cuba owes Spanish companies that do business in the country.

The Spanish diplomat declared himself "satisfied" with the talks. "We have achieved our objectives," he said.

Moratinos passed on a chance to visit dissidents, political activists, independent Cuban journalists or members of Havana-based human rights organizations, a break with the past when Spanish leaders often held such meetings and enraged the Cuban government.

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