French President becomes the first Western leader to visit Cuba in over a century
Just hours ago, French President Francois Hollande made history by touching down in Havana and becoming the first leader in the Western world to visit Cuba in more than a century. As part of his tour through the Caribbean, Mr Hollande is scheduled to meet up with Raul Castro and strengthen ties between the two nations, thus cementing France's lead in the EU rapprochement with Cuba after the thawing of relations between the communist island and the U.S.
With the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. spelling a brighter economic outlook for the island, the recent visit of French President, Francoise Hollande, marks a historic moment in which he became the first high-profile leader of the Western world to set foot in the country in decades, and the first French president to do so in over a hundred years.
Mr Hollande himself said of the much anticipated visit:
" After what Obama’s decision regarding the relationship between Cuba and the US, France along with Europe wants to be by their side during this process. With France, Cuba can have a faithful ally,"
During his time in Cuba the French President is scheduled to meet Cuban President Mr Raul Castro, as well as the head of Cuba's Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Jaime Ortega and the Cuban branch of the Alliance Francaise, which promotes French culture and the French language abroad.
Bringing in a team of five ministers and 24 executives from top French companies including Air France, rum distiller Pernod Ricard (Cuba's partner in exporting Havana Club rum), grain exporter Soufflet and hotelier ACCOR, the visit will help strengthen existing trade links and promote new business between French-based companies and Cuba.
His official visits might include a trip to see Cuba's former President, Fidel Castro, who's already a generally well-regarded and esteemed figure in France and whose ideals can relate to Hollande's Socialist Party.
Despite the world-famous, decades-long feud between the U.S. and Cuba (which now seems to be coming to a very gradual, slow end) France had always maintained friendly relations with Cuba, being one of the largest holders of Cuban debt in fact.
Some of the companies that accompanied Mr Hollander and who are now in the island, already have well-established operations in Cuba and now look to expand their businesses. This is the case for ACCOR and Air France, the largest contributors to the Cuba holidays industry from the French tourism market.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 17:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all
Dive into the warm water of Varadero beach and relax under the caribbean sunshine
- Enjoy a fantastic tour
- Book now and benefit from huge savings with the launch of the new Virgin Atlantic to Varadero offer!
- Suites feature a separate living area and Tropical suites feature breathtaking views of the sea
- Golf lovers can play on the nearby Varadero 18 hole golf course
Enjoy a wide range of added values, fun activities or relax and lie under the sun on exclusive private beach area in Varadero
- Never waste a minute of your holiday and enjoy all fun activities from waters sports to golf lessons at Bella Costa
- Memories Miramar Hotel has a fantastic location and is only a 5-minute walk from the nearest beach
- Experience Varadero to the fullest with fantastic options for couples, families or singles as there is something to suit everyone
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 4th May 2017
The unlimited heaven of tranquility in a perfect setting
- Iberostar Parque Central Hotel is a great base to discover Havana's historic Old Town.
- Activities throughout the day at Iberostar Varadero Hotel , including aerobics, archery, basketball, beach volleyball, football, kayaking and more.
- The luxurious 5 star accommodation ensures a comfortable adventure.
Combine colourful and vibrant Havana with a relaxing summer 2017 beach holiday in an award winning resort on the shores of Varadero
- Book early and benifit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- Discover Havana by day visit the historial sites and by night you can listen to live music or dance to the Salsa beat
- Enjoy complimentary pool-based dive courses on offer for beginners and experience one free daily dive at the Royalton Hicacos
- Three freshwater pools including four whirlpools and signature swim-up pool bar at Royalton Hicacos ensure an unforgettable holiday
One of Havana’s most historically popular mafia-run hotels of the 50s, the Capri is a legendary property with over...
Soak up the history of Havana as well as the magnificence of Varadero beach on an unforgettable twin centre holiday to...
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
This 1920s colonial house is surrounded by lush vegetation and terrace areas and boasts a stunning array of antiques,...
Fancy a charming and adventurous holiday? Why not try our twin centre package that allows you to explore the contagious...