Cuban President Raul Castro will travel to Mexico next week

Cuban President Raul Castro will travel to Mexico next week for talks with President Enrique Pena Nieto, his first visit to the country since taking office in 2006, officials said Thursday.

The Mexican foreign ministry said the state visit will take place in Merida, capital of the eastern state of Yucatan, from November 5 to 7.

“This state visit has a special significance, as it comes in the context of a deep relationship for both countries and an excellent period following the relaunching (of ties) in November 2013,” the ministry said in a statement.

The two leaders will discuss political and economic items of bilateral and regional interest, as well as cooperation, the ministry said.

Pena Nieto, of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), revived bilateral relations in November 2013 after ties cooled under two conservative Mexican presidents between 2000-2012.

The foreign ministry said that there are now more than 30 new Mexican investment projects in Cuba.

In the 1960s, PRI-led Mexico was the only Latin American country to resist US pressure to cut diplomatic relations with the communist island.

Raul Castro and US President Barack Obama agreed to normalize ties in December 2014, and the former Cold War foes reopened their embassies this past summer.

It was as an exile in Mexico that Fidel Castro launched his guerrilla campaign to topple dictator Fulgencio Batista, setting sail from Veracruz in 1956 with a small band of men on a dilapidated yacht called Granma.

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