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Cuba Initiative gets new chairman

Published on Thursday, March 13, 2008Email To Friend    Print Version

LONDON, UK: The Cuba Initiative has announced that Ian Taylor MP, the Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, has accepted an invitation to take on the role of UK Chairman of the organisation, in succession to Lord Moynihan. His counterpart in Havana is Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, Minister of State in the office of the President.

Ian Taylor MP
Commenting on his appointment, Taylor said: “This is an interesting moment to attempt to create new momentum in the relationship with the Cuban government. I am convinced that with the proximity of Cuba to islands of considerable importance to UK interests, such as Jamaica, we have an opportunity to play a role in improving exchanges between our two countries.”

As Minister for Trade, and then Science and Technology, at the Department of Trade and Industry (1994-97) in the last Conservative government, Taylor played a central role in founding the Cuba Initiative.
He was the first UK Minister to go to Havana for 20 years and in his two visits held extensive discussions with the then Cuban President Fidel Castro, as well as with the now President Raul Castro and many leading members of the Cuban Government.

Since that time he has maintained a keen interest in Cuba and the UK/Cuba relationship, meeting with visiting Cuban Ministers and with those associated with the Cuba Initiative to discuss Cuban issues.

Lord Moynihan, who became the Chairman in 2002, said of his successor, “I know that Ian will be a strong and effective Chairman. At a time of change, he will be able to encourage through investment, trade and dialogue, a closer engagement between Havana and London.”

Lord Moynihan, who retires because of his extensive commitments as Chairman of the British Olympic Association, will continue to remain involved in the Cuba Initiative especially in the field of sporting cooperation.
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