Global Post / MinnPost, April 11, 2012
When Mexican President Felipe Calderon arrives here Wednesday for his first official visit to Cuba, the trip may do more to highlight the ongoing estrangement between the two countries than it will their historic ties.
Chummy relations with Cuba were once a point of pride among the leaders of Mexico’s Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI), which ruled the country 71 years. But since Vicente Fox’s election in 2000, links to Havana have been shaky. The right-leaning National Action Party (PAN) governments of Fox and now Calderon have been cool to the Castros...
...Even today, Cuba’s skepticism toward Calderon — like Fox before him — stems from the perception that Mexico has compromised its foreign-policy independence from the United States, according to Eric Olson, senior associate at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. And once again, human rights will be the prickliest issue in Calderon’s attempt to improve Mexico-Cuba ties, Olson said in an interview.
“How and when Calderon raises the issue will give us some insight into the extent to which it will become a significant issue in the relationship going forward and the tolerance or intolerance of Havana in dealing with this concern”