Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, Vice President of the Council of Ministers, will visit China from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, at the invitation of the Chinese government, the news agency Xinhua reported from Beijing.
The two-sentence announcement contained no specifics.
Cabrisas was elevated to the Council of Ministers in October 2008 to oversee and coordinate the work of the ministries of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment.
The latest senior Cuban official to visit China was Interior Minister Abelardo Colomé Ibarra. See our blog items "China to advise Cuba on law enforcement..." (Aug. 31) and "Security and law-enforcement cooperation are topics..." (Aug. 30)
"Twenty years passed between the end of the war in Vietnam and establishment of normal relations by President Bill Clinton. [...] Yet today we are Vietnam's largest export market, a major source of foreign investment and second only to China as a source of tourists," writes John McAuliff in The Huffington Post.
In contrast, "we have carried a grudge against Cuba for five decades, insisting that even the potential of change in our relationship requires first modification in their form of governance and domestic acts like the release of political prisoners."
"Cuba has called our bluff," writes McAuliff, executive director of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development. "It has begun release of all its 150 prisoners considered by international human rights agencies to be political."
It is time for the Obama administration "to undo restrictions on non-tourist travel by Americans that were imposed by [President Bush] in 2004," restrictions that affect "travel for educational, cultural, humanitarian, dialogue, professional exchange, religious or humanitarian purposes," McAuliff concludes.
Expanded travel, he says, "is the most likely inducement to real reform within Cuba, as it was within Vietnam." To read his argument in full, click here.
[RELATED STORY: Advocates of easing restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba have not given up on legislation this year, Representative Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Reuters news service. Click here.]