HAVANA — Mexican President Felipe Calderon was sitting down with Cuba’s Raul Castro on Wednesday to strengthen economic cooperation and further repair a relationship that has been strained during more than a decade of center-right rule in Mexico.
Calderon emphasized the positive upon arrival, talking about what his conservative administration and Cuba’s communist-run government have in common rather than their “natural differences.”
The president said he and Castro would discuss commerce and investment, regional concerns and cooperation in areas such as health, education, culture, sports and energy.
“I know this visit … will bring benefits for both peoples,” Calderon said in a brief statement at the Havana airport. He did not take questions, and his meeting with Castro was to be behind closed doors.
Mexico and Cuba are neighbors across the Gulf of Mexico, which is home to rich oil deposits as well as lucrative routes for smuggling drugs and people.