On 15 and 16 October, the First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Marcelino Medina González, completed an intense agenda of exchanges with authorities of the Commonwealth of Australia, as part of his official visit to this country.
On 15 October, Medina González chaired the meeting on Political Consultations held at the headquarters of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, based in Canberra capital city. The counterpart delegation was led by the Vice Minister for Europe and Latin America, Christopher Langman.
In this meeting, both parties noted their satisfaction with the progress made in bilateral ties and ratified the interest to promote political dialogue, as well as the development of deeper relations in the commercial and economic sphere. In this regard, the Cuban side moved the interest to promote exchanges and collaboration with Australia in those sectors in which the nation-continent has a lot of experience and has achieved remarkable results in recent years, such as mining and energy.
On the framework of the meeting was also significant the dialogue on triangular projects both nations are developing for the benefit of the Pacific Islands. The aim to carry out a serie of baseball games between national teams of both countries was also highlighted.
Also, the senior Cuban diplomat had fruitful exchanges with the federal parliamentarian and former Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop; the President of Parliament, Tony Smith; the leader of the opposition in the Senate, Penny Wong; the presidents of the Parliamentary Friendship Group, Warren Entsch and Richard Marles; the leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten, and with the Assistant Minister for the Treasury, Stuart Robert.
There was consensus in all the high-level interviews and among the various political actors, on the important possibilities that exist to expand the bilateral links in the short term.
Both parties highlighted the fact that 25,000 Australian tourists visited the island in 2017 and until August 2018, they had already traveled 17,000, so in the last four years, new records of visitors to Cuba have been established.
The delegation attended the "Question-Time" session of the Federal Parliament and its presence was greeted by the deputies, in what constitutes a space for parliamentary debate that is broadcast live on a television network with reach in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific island states.
On October 16, the Cuban delegation traveled to Melbourne, capital of the Australian state of Victoria, where it was received by the Minister of Commerce and Technology, Philip Dalidakis. The Australian Minister took advantage from the opportinuty to highlight the decision of his State to elevate in an outstanding way the economic-commercial links with Cuba, stating the positive results of the visits made by the business groups Biocubafarma and Gecomex to Victoria in 2018 and the possibilities of action identified at that time in different fields.
The First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Marcelino Medina González, expressed at the end of the visit, his satisfaction for the potential that exists to expand and diversify bilateral relations based on the identified mutual interests, which the Australian counterparts agreed on in each of the developed exchanges.