New York City’s left-leaning Mayor Bill de Blasio met with the president of Cuba in Manhattan on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.
Cuban officials invited de Blasio, who visited the Communist island nation in 1991 for his honeymoon, to visit with President Raul Castro in the country’s mission inside the United Nations building.
De Blasio spokesman Peter Kadushin released a statement that the mayor and controversial head of state had a “productive exchange of ideas” as they discussed prekindergarten education, health care and women’s rights for about an hour.
De Blasio’s visit comes one day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with Castro. The two had not met during Cuomo’s trade mission to Havana in April.
Castro, 84, rose to the presidency in 2008 following his 89-year-old brother Fidel’s more than 30 years of uncontested leadership.
Earlier in the day, the younger Castro spoked at a development summit, during which praised improving relations between Cuba and the United States but also slammed ongoing trade embargoes.
Castro is scheduled to address world leaders for the first time as president at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.