France's Francois Hollande has one-hour discussion with Fidel Castro and pushes for an end to the U.S. economic embargo. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
French President Francois Hollande met with Cuba's Fidel Castro on Monday (May 11) and urged an end to the U.S. trade embargo of Cuba. Hollande also envisioned a larger French role in Cuba's engagement with the West during the first visit by a French head of state to Cuba. Hollande met for an hour with the 88-year-old retired Cuban leader, whose 1959 revolution is generally well regarded in France, especially within Hollande's Socialist Party. Cuba is in foreign policy talks with both the European Union and the United States amid intense world interest in Cuba. Hollande, traveling with a host of French business executives, is the first serving Western European leader to visit Cuba since Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez came in 1986, and he said he expected others to soon follow his example. Hollande previously said his trip had "special meaning" since U.S. President Barack Obama reversed more than half a century of hostile U.S. policy toward Cuba in December, when Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced they would restore diplomatic ties.