Spain to increase aid to CubaOctober 20th, 2009 - 10:48 pm ICT by IANS
Havana, Oct 20 (EFE) Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said here his country’s new policy towards Cuba “has already had one result,” the renewal of aid to the island state, which will continue to increase, a report said.
“Some will perhaps have forgotten that at one time due to the lack of political dialogue between Cuba and Spain (under the conservative government of Jose Maria Aznar), there was no assistance, there was no possibility of helping our Cuban brothers,” the minister said while inaugurating an office to coordinate Madrid’s assistance to Havana, the report said Saturday.
He arrived in Havana Saturday on a two-day visit, the report added.
Spanish aid to Cuba has climbed from 17 million euros ($25.36 million) in 2007, when Moratinos visited Havana for the first time and bilateral relations were normalised, to 34 million euros ($50.7 million) this year, the director of Spain’s Technical Office for Cooperation in Havana, Juan Diego Ruiz said.
Spanish aid to Cuba over the past 12 months has included funding to rebuild schools, hospitals and homes battered by three hurricanes in 2008, as well as an initial 36 tonnes of emergency relief supplies.
The report said that around 40 percent of Madrid’s assistance is included as part of multilateral cooperation plans coordinated by UN agencies.
Another 35 percent is sent via 100 Spanish non-governmental organisations and the remaining 25 percent is channelled through direct government-to-government initiatives, the report added.
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