EU and Cuba to restart talks after cultural dispute

viernes 27 de febrero de 2015 14:26 GYT

* Cuba, EU to hold a third round of talks

* Havana was upset over cultural event

By Robin Emmott

BRUSSELS, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Cuba and the European Union will hold a third round of talks in Havana next week aimed at increasing trade, investment and political dialogue after overcoming a dispute that delayed the negotiations, an EU official said on Friday.

The round on Wednesday and Thursday follows normalisation talks this week between Cuba and the United States, was due to take place in January.

It was postponed because Havana was upset over a cultural event organised by the EU in Washington in March last year.

The EU is already Cuba's top foreign investor. EU officials say the proposed accord would give Brussels a bigger role in Havana's market-oriented reforms, position EU companies for Cuba's transition to a more open economy and allow the Europe to press for political freedoms on the Communist-ruled island.

EU officials suspect that Havana may not have felt ready for a third round last year because they were due to discuss human rights, which is always a sensitive topic for Cuba, a one-party state that represses dissent and controls the media.

"We will only go when they feel they are ready to receive us," said an EU official on condition of anonymity.   Continuación...