Granma International
October 17, 2001

Britain builds its relationship with Cuba

                   THE United Kingdom has vast experience with offshore petroleum,
                   which is why British Energy Minister Brian Wilson hopes that firms
                   from his country will negotiate with Cuba in this field.

                   He reaffirmed that his countryís main oil companies would invest
                   heavily when oil is discovered in the exclusively Cuban zone of the
                   Gulf of Mexico, and advocated that until this happens, small and
                   medium-sized companies should take part in prospecting.

                   He explained that he is drawing attention to investment opportunities
                   on the island, although the final decision rests with the companies.

                   Wilson visited Havana as part of a tour which included Caracas,
                   Trinidad and Tobago, and Rio de Janeiro. In what was his fifth visit to
                   Cuba, he met with Vice President Carlos Lage and various ministers.

                   He also announced a study that is under way on the possibilities open
                   to British businesses in Cuba, mainly in the oil and gas sector.

                   He went on to say that his conversations with Cuban officials dealt
                   with the possibility of providing British equipment for the islandís
                   sugar industry and about plans to generate energy from biomass. He
                   announced that at the end of November, Cuba will take part in a
                   conference on energy in London.

                   FRIENDLY RELATIONS

                   After confirming that relations between the governments of Cuba
                   and the United Kingdom continue to improve, he stated that these
                   relations are very friendly.

                   He recalled that along with oil and gas, companies from his country
                   have investments in light industry and tourism, as well as working in
                   the biotechnology sector. However, he hopes for a greater
                   participation in these areas of the Cuban economy.

                   He finally stressed that a substantial group of British entrepreneurs
                   would attend the Havana Trade Fair.