Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 9th December 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on Cuba.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

We have deepened our relationship with Cuba through enhanced engagement building on the UK-Cuba 2011 Bilateral Declaration. I recently paid a three-day visit to Cuba, as the first British Minister to visit in nearly a decade. I signed three bilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) during my visit and explained to Cuban Ministers our desire to see an improvement to the bilateral relationship in areas where we have a shared interest. We already have pragmatic cooperation on strategic issues such as counternarcotics, trade and investment, climate change and, more recently on Ebola, where we are co-operating closely in combating the disease in Sierra Leone. Our Embassy in Havana remains active on the ground on human rights and I made clear during my visit our concerns about freedom of expression and association, as well as the need to release prisoners of conscience. I also called on Cuba to ratify the UN Covenants on Political and Economic Rights.

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