The Spanish president, José Luis Zapatero, asked the US government to exclude Cuba from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism internationally. “I believe that Cuba should be out of that list,” he said before saying that members of the Basque organization ETA found in the island came as part of an agreement with Madrid. “That was done in a framework of cooperation and collaboration with the government of Spain,” said the Spanish politician.
In a press conference in Havana, Zapatero said that during his term, the Cuban government was one of those who supported the efforts of Madrid for talks with ETA and achieving disarmament of independence group. “We had, as governments, other discrepancies but in the scope of the objective of my country to see the end of ETA’s violence we had the collaboration of the Cuban authorities and I want to emphasize that. It can be an important data for that negotiation process (Cuba-US), “said the former president, adding:” I hope that the US administration, which has taken so positive steps, considers this. ”
The trip of the leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) to Cuba aims to promote the elimination of the death penalty. He recalled that in Cuba it is in force but is not applied since 2003, due to a moratorium that included the commutation of sentences. “I’m in the effort to start the process by which one can abolish the death penalty and I have forwarded it to the Cuban authorities”.
José Luis Zapatero was received by Cuban President Raul Castro, who brought him up to date with the new prevailing situation between Cuba and the US, following the agreements made public on December 17. Something it was considered “positively by the international community,” and recalled that “soon the third round of negotiations between Cuba and the European Union will take place and I wish it ends in a deal, it would be positive. It is my principled position. The process that has opened between the US and Cuba helps the process of relations between the EU and Cuba. ”
Zapatero said he didn’t visit Cuba during his tenure due to the political consequences that would have had, “If as former president without responsibilities of state, after the 17D and good relations between Madrid and Havana, it has generated this controversy, imagine if I would have done as president, “but declined to comment on the allegations that government officials of the People’s Party have done regarding his visit to Cuba.