PETALING JAYA: Cuba is seeking Malaysia’s support to get the United States to lift a five-decade long trade blockade against it.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, who is in Havana, said Cuba believed that the international community’s support is crucial to help it achieve progress.
“Malaysia is pleased to note the resumption of US-Cuba ties following its severance 54 years ago. We are confident that this major development will lead to rapid growth in Cuba,” he said in a statement after meeting his Cuban counterpart Ana Teresita Gonzalez Fraga in the Cuban capital yesterday.
Anifah earlier attended the VII Forum for East-Asia Latin America Cooperation Ministerial Meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica, and also held talks with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez in Caracas.
He said the warming of relations between Cuba and the US will bring much benefit to the Caribbean nation. This included an increase in tourists, including from the US, Anifah added.
Cuba and the US restored diplomatic relations on July 20. Bilateral ties was severed during the Cold War in 1961. Both countries have since re-opened their embassies in Washington DC and Havana.
However, a trade embargo is still effectively in place pending approval from the US Congress for the ban to be lifted.
During their meeting, Anifah said both ministers also agreed on the need to explore new areas of cooperation, adding that he was convinced of Cuba’s trade and economic potential.
He said Gonzalez Fraga had invited Malaysian companies to take part in the annual Havana International Trade Fair and connect with other Latin American countries.
“Cuba’s recently implemented investment laws should attract Malaysian companies,’’ he said.