King Felipe and Queen Letizia today left Madrid for their official visit to Cuba to celebrate Havana’s 500th anniversary.
Their Majesties boarded their jet after a departure ceremony at the Terminal of State at Barajas Airport. Such ceremonies are standard for official visits abroad.
Media outlets are describing the trip as historic and a sign of closer relations between the world and Cuba.
However, news that Their Majesties will not meet with dissidents has generated concern among human rights advocates.
Spain and its companies have long had a presence in Cuba. King Juan Carlos, King Felipe’s father, has been to Cuba twice in recent years, including for former leader Fidel Castro’s funeral.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia will travel to Cuba next month for Havana’s 500th anniversary.
The trip will be the first for Spain’s monarchs. The country works to keep close ties with former colonies.
King Juan Carlos, King Felipe’s father, has been to Cuba twice in recent years, including for former leader Fidel Castro’s funeral.
King Juan Carlos is in Cuba this week to attend funeral services for former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Spain has long had ties with its former colony and, now that the island is becoming more open, Spain wants to secure its position there.
Don Juan Carlos has been a point-person for King Felipe in Latin America. Don Felipe used to be that point-person when he was Prince of Asturias.
King Felipe, meanwhile, has spent recent days on a state visit to Portugal, a key Spanish ally.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia have made several stops in the country and met with several local and national leaders.
Tomorrow the King is scheduled to meet with the president of the European Commission in Madrid.