French Foreign Minister: We Want to Be Cuba's Partner

Havana, Jul 30 (Prensa Latina) The French minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, expressed his government's interest in becoming Cuba's partner in the framework of the Caribbean island''s update of its economic model.

After touring Old Havana, the foreign minister repeated France's intention to reinforce bilateral ties with Cuba.

In statements to the National TV News, the head of French diplomacy commented that President Emmanuel Macron asked him to convey a message to his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Diaz-Canel, and to tell him that France wants to maintain the dynamics of existing relations.

We have exceptional ties that were consolidated during then President Raul Castro's visit to France in 2016.

On Monday, the French foreign minister met with his Cuban peer, Bruno Rodriguez, who described bilateral relations as positive, and pointed out that cultural, economic and academic exchange goes well.

There is a significant potential to strengthen ties between the two nations, noted the Cuban foreign minister, who highlighted France's leadership in Europe and in the struggle to preserve the environment.

Rodriguez thanked the French State for its stance against the US commercial, economic, and financial blockade on Cuba for more than half a century.

  • Published in Cuba

France moves to bolster ties with Cuba

French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian made an official visit to Cuba this weekend, confirming his country's interest in strengthening ties with the Caribbean island country.

Le Drian, who arrived in Havana on Saturday and met with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and other officials, is the first European foreign minister to visit Cuba since elections were held in April to elect a successor to Raul Castro.

"In an atmosphere of cordiality, both sides highlighted the good state of bilateral ties and expressed their willingness to continue high-level talks," Cuba's leading nightly show of official NTV news reported.

Cuba and France praised their bilateral trade and economic ties, as well as cooperation, and acknowledged the growing role French companies are playing in different economic sectors such as energy, transport and construction.

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Le Drian also met with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez, and described the relationship between the two countries as "very positive."

Rodriguez acknowledged France's leadership in the recent development of ties between the European Union (EU) and Cuba, referring to the implementation in November of the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement.

The agreement officially ended Europe's so-called "common position" on Cuba, adopted in 1996 to align the continent's foreign policy towards the island with Washington's, which curbed ties citing alleged human rights violations.

"Cultural, economic, academic and cooperation ties are going well and there is significant potential to continue expanding them," said Rodriguez, who met with Le Drian in Paris in May.

  • Published in Cuba

French FM to Visit Cuba

Havana, Jul 24 (Prensa Latina) French Foreign and European Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will visit Cuba on July 28 and 29, an ocassion in which he will talk to Cuban authorities, official sources said in this capital.

Le Drian's working agenda includes conversations with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, his host, and a tour of Havana's historical parts of the city. Havana was declared Mankind's Patrimony by the UNESCO in 1982.

Le Drian and Rodriguez held a working meeting in May this year, described as cordial and productive by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the parties then noted 'the positive progress of the bilateral relationship and exchanged points of view on current international issues.'

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France vs Belgium: A 'Final Quality' Match

This is one of the matches that could easily have been the Final of this 2018 World Cup in Russia. Both teams have the strength, speed and determination to be a FIFA World Champion, but only one can take a step forward to the finals.

France and Belgium will meet Tuesday in St. Petersburg, after both teams booked their spots among the most talented in the 2018 staging of the soccer World Cup. Both teams were among the favorites during the 'pre-tournament' analysis.

This fixture is one of the matches that could easily have been the 'Final' of this 2018 World Cup in Russia. Both teams have the strength, speed and determination to be a FIFA World Champion, but only one can take a giant step forward to the finals.

The Breakdown: Belgium

A Belgian national team, with players such as Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, who are part of the country's "golden generation," directing them is Spanish Coach Roberto Martinez, who has had a positive impact on this national outfit.

Belgium has waited over three decades to get as far as the semifinals in a World Cup. Now, with well-orchestrated teamwork, the "golden generation" is determined to fight for the championship. This is the team with the highest number of goals scored in the World Cup, 15, so far.

Complemented by one of the world's best goalkeepers, Thibaut Courtois.

The Breakdown: France

Facing them is France, the 1998 World Cup winner, that has players such as Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba or Antoine Griezman. They are trained by Didier Deschamps, who won the Cup in 1998 as a player and is now trying to do the same as a coach.

Another key piece in this national team, to possibly achieve the important victory, is the experience of its goalkeeper. Even though France has a young team, they also have a very experienced player on the team, the goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris.

The Conclusion

This match promises lots of action - a firecracker, on paper anyway.

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Mbappe's Goal Helps France Gain Victory 1-0 Over Peru, Advance to Play-Offs

Last Saturday, addressing the upcoming game, Peru striker Jose Paolo Guerrero said that his team could beat France. Last time the teams played against one another in 1982, and on that occasion Peru was victorious.

This is the second game in Group C for both teams. Earlier, France managed to win over Australia 2-1, while Peru lost to Denmark 0-1.

However, after Denmark and Australia drew a tie 1-1 earlier in the day in Samara, it is unclear which teams will enter the knockout stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

According to the statistics, more than 31,800 fans visited the game in Yekaterinburg.

On 34th minute 19-years-old Kylian Mbappé broke the match open, becoming the youngest player to score for France in world cup tournaments. Peru failed to strike back during the first time, and, despite all the struggle — in the second time as well.

After the game situation in the Group C became less misty, as France books its place in the knockout stage regardless of upcoming match against Denmark, while Peru team lays aside all hopes for the advancement.

Now the destiny of Denmark and Australia teams depends on their last games, against France and Peru respectively. If Australia wins and Denmark loses, the goal difference to decide, who would enter the knockout stage.

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'Incoherent and inconsistent' France hits out at ‘angry’ Trump as US pulls out of G7 pact

Mr Trump, who initially appeared ready to endorse the communique, pulled out after firing off a series of angry tweets aimed at Canadian premier Justin Trudeau.

But a French official insisted France and its fellow G7 European nations were maintaining their support communique and said anyone departing from the commitments made at the summit would be showing their "incoherence and inconsistency”.

He said: "International co-operation cannot depend on being angry and on sound bites. Let's be serious.”

The official hit out after Mr Trump's backed out of the statement drawn up at the Quebec summit, wrecking any attempts for elite group’s efforts to show a united front.

The US President’s announcement, made after he left the summit in Canada early, torpedoed what appeared to be a fragile consensus on the trade dispute between Washington and its allies.

And he made no secret of who he held responsible for his decision to withdraw support.

Mr Trump tweeted: "PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, 'US Tariffs were kind of insulting' and he 'will not be pushed around.'

“Very dishonest and weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270 percent on dairy!" the U.S. president tweeted.

Mr Trump had already left the summit when Mr Trudeau announced retaliatory measures Canada would take next month in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Mr Trudeau said: ”Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable but we also will not be pushed around.”

Reacting to Mr Trump's tweets, Mr Trudeau's office said: "We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the summit.

“The Prime Minister said nothing he hasn't said before - both in public, and in private conversations with the President."

Mr Trump's salvo capped a rollecoaster two days of controversies that began with his suggestion Russia be readmitted to the G7, then what a French official described as a "rant" full of "recriminations" against US trading partners, followed by a denial of any tensions with leaders at the summit and his description of their relationship as a "10."

But by ordering his representatives to back out of the communique, Mr Trump appeared to be asserting his oft-stated aim of upsetting the status quo whether by pulling out of the global climate accord or the international nuclear deal with Iran or threats to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement.

  • Published in World

Cuba Domadores earn narrow first-leg lead in World Series of Boxing semi-final

Cuba Domadores celebrated victory in the first leg of their World Series of Boxing (WSB) semi-final against the French Fighting Roosters in Paris.

Cuba Domadores, the 2014 and 2016 champions, were hoping a strong away performance could set them up for a fifth consecutive appearance in the finals of the franchise event.

Jorge Grinan looked to give the Domadores an ideal start when he met the French Fighting Roosters overseas boxer Gabriel Escobar Mascuñano in the under 52 kilogram flyweight bout.

The Cuban fighter suffered defeat as Mascuñano earned a unanimous points victory.

Sofiane Oumiha represented the hosts in the 60kg lightweight event at Salle Wagram, where he faced Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez, a two-time Olympic bronze medallist.

Victory was earned by Oumiha, who edged Alvarez after a closely fought encounter.

Action continued with the 69kg welterweight division, which saw France’s Patrick Momene take on Roniel Iglesias.

Iglesias, London 2012 Olympic champion in the light welterweight division, prevailed via a unanimous points verdict.

The penultimate fight of the evening saw home favourite Gaetan Ntambwe meet the Domadores’ Julio La Cruz in the 81kg light heavyweight event.

The first leg concluded with an over 91kg super heavyweight showdown between the Roosters’ Mihai Nistor and Cuban rival Jose Larduet.

A strong performance saw Larduet secure victory on points.

The Domadores will seek to defend their advantage when the two teams meet again next Friday (May 25).

The second leg of the semi-final will take place at the Coliseo Ciudad Deportiva in Havana.

Defending champions Astana Arlans Kazakhstan will hope to hold off the British Lionhearts the following day.

Yesterday, the Kazakh team earned a 3-2 victory in their away match in Sheffield.

  • Published in Sports

French Art to Flood Havana during May, June

Havana, May 9 (Prensa Latina) With a varied and attractive activity program, the 3rd edition of the French Culture Month in Cuba will take place in this capital from May 10 to June 30, according to its organizers.

The annual meeting proposes an event in which all the artistic expressions will converge, valorizing the relations of cooperation and friendship between both peoples, assured in a press conference French ambassador to Cuba, Jean-Marie Bruno.

Created on the initiative of the former French president François Hollande during his visit to Havana in May 2015, the activity will show a creative dialogue between contemporary artists of the two countries, in the fields of visual arts, dance, theater, music, design and architecture, said the French diplomat.

The event will open with the unveiling of an art nouveau-style stained glass by the artist Aguste Labouret (1871-1964), rescued from one of the stately mansions of the Cuban capital and whose author was one of the most renowned master glassmakers in the world.

The world premiere of the work 'The Consecration', based on 'The Consecration of Spring', a version of French choreographers Christophe Beranger and Jonathan Pranlas-Descours performed by Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, stands out among the planned shows.

The program also includes the staging of the opera Romeo and Juliet, with a cast composed of soloists from lyric groups of the island, Cuban soprano Barbara Llanes and French mezzo-soprano Juliette Vialle.

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