Havana_ The governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro García Padilla, traveled today to Cuba to participate as a guest at the Seventh Summit of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), taking place in Havana, Prensa Latina publishes.

The ruler is accompanied by his wife Wilma Pastrana and the Minister of State Victor Suarez, head of foreign affairs of the Free Associated Stare (ELA in Spanish).

García Padilla will attend the subregional conclave, which will run until Saturday at Havana’s Convention center and the Revolution Palace, invited by Alfonso Munera, Secretary General of the ACS, an organization that brings together representatives of the 25 member nations, seven associate States, 21 countries and nine observer organizations.

This is the first time since the US invasion in 1898, that a Puerto Rico’s ruler visits Cuba.

The Executive Mansion expressed that the presence of García Padilla in the summit aims to strengthen the presence of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean community.

So far, the US has always expressed its opposition to Puerto Rico strengthen its ties with other nations in the region, beyond any trade, fulfilling their requirements.

Padilla García’s administration wants to be part of the recent historic change in US relations with Cuba, which seeks closer ties with the neighboring island, according to the statement.

The president understands that Cuba and Puerto Rico are two peoples with a brotherhood history, so his government intends now to restore the economic and cultural relations that both islands had for centuries.

During her term, Governor Sila M. Calderon (2001-2005) attended a meeting of the AEC in Venezuela and the Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government in the Dominican Republic, causing discontent in the State Department North American.

As Puerto Rico was making efforts to join the AEC as part of Calderon's policy of entering the international arena, the then spokesman for the Department of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Charles Barclay, deemed inappropriate Puerto Rico to join the regional organization.

Now, the participation of Garcia Padilla in the summit in Havana takes places in a moment when the Caribbean island of 3.5 million people goes through its deepest economic and fiscal crisis, with a public debt of 70 billion dollars.


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