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Spain Working to Improve Relations with Cuba - 2004-10-13

The new Spanish envoy to Cuba says his country will work to improve relations with the communist island nation within the parameters of the European Union's position on the treatment of dissent.

Ambassador Carlos Alonso Zaldivar made the comments Tuesday at a diplomatic reception in Havana celebrating Spain's national day. He said the current Cuban-Spanish situation is "profoundly unsatisfactory."

Mr. Zaldivar said he regretted there were no Cuban officials at the party, which was attended by at least 20 Cuban dissidents and relatives of political prisoners

Havana froze its relations with EU nations last year after the bloc criticized the jailing of 75 dissidents for up to 28 years.