Washington, DC

Bookmark and Share

Mayor Bowser Meets with Havana Mayor Romero

Monday, February 22, 2016
Historic meeting between leaders of nations’ capitals highlights exploratory mission

(Havana, CUBA) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser met with Havana Mayor Martha Hernández Romero to initiate diplomatic ties with the Cuban capital and discuss respective economic and cultural challenges and opportunities.

“It was an honor to meet with Mayor Hernández Romero as we build a relationship between our two capital cities,” said Mayor Bowser. “Cuba is eager to strengthen and grow – and we are excited to be a part of that growth.  As one of the first US city delegations in decades to visit Havana, we have put ourselves in a position to form a positive working relationship that we hope will benefit our region in years to come.”

Mayor Bowser and Mayor Hernández Romero discussed several opportunities of mutual interest, including the eventual exchange of goods and services, and the increasing formation of public-private partnerships. Other topics of discussion included potential educational opportunities between District public schools and universities and their Havana counterparts.

Following the discussion and a gift exchange with Mayor Hernández Romero, Mayor Bowser met with Cuba’s Minister of Tourism, Manuel Marrero Cruz to address opportunities of mutual advantage around economic development, foreign capital, tourism, and hospitality.

The meetings with Mayor Hernández Romero and Minister of Tourism Manuel Marrero Cruz are part of an exploratory mission from February 20-25 led by the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Bowser is laying the groundwork for future relationships and potential economic and cultural opportunities with Cuba, as both countries move towards engagement instead of isolation.  The mission also serves as a platform for the regional delegation to learn best practices and showcase the Washington metropolitan area’s strengths in transportation, tourism, health, and education.