By Fighting Words Staff
Showing international socialist unity and solidarity, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel completed his first overseas diplomatic mission since speaking at the United Nations in September. His destinations included visits to the socialist states of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China, Vietnam and Laos, as well as Russia and France. Below are excerpts taken from the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina describing this historic tour.
Kim Jong-un received Cuban president in Pyongyang (November 4)
By Benito Joaquín Milanés
Cuban president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, arrived today at the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (PDRK) where president Kim Jong-un headed the people’s welcome at the capital’s airport and the main avenues of the city. Diaz and Kim met here personally during the celebrations on occasion of the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Havana and Pyongyang.
From the air terminal to the official residence for distinguished guests visiting the PDRK, Diaz Canel and his host were warmly greeted by almost one million citizens of Pyongyang, waving flags of Cuba, North Korea and flowers…
Brotherly relations between both countries are historical, dating back to the friendship between the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro and the founder of the PDRK 70 years ago, leader of this nation, Kim Il Sung… North Korea was part of the 189 countries that recently voted in the UN General Assembly in favor of eliminating the unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba and against the malicious amendments that the United States tried to introduce in the document presented by Cuba at the United Nations.
Cuba supports the process of rapprochement and dialogue in the Korean península in order to achieve lasting peace in the region and opposes unilateral and arbitrary sanctions against Pyongyang… The arrival of the Cuban head of government comes 58 years after the first visit of Commandant Ernesto Che Guevara, in December of 1960 and that of the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro in 1986. Thus has started the tour of the island’s president to four socialist countries of Asia which will take him to China, Vietnam and Laos.
Cuban president ends successful visit to China (November 8)
By Prensa Latina
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday concluded a state visit to China, which, he said, had a special significance because it focused on further fostering friendship between both governments and peoples.
Since his arrival in Shanghai on Tuesday, the Cuban president has completed a busy agenda with the aim of providing continuity and consolidating the ties established 58 years ago. On top of the agenda were the official meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday at the Great Hall of the People, where he welcomed the Cuban statesman with high honors.
Diaz-Canel expressed pleasure to be again in China and to ratify his admiration and respect for its people. He thanked Xi for his congratulating message after taking office as Cuba’s president last April, as well as for his presence at the Cuban Embassy to express condolences after the death in 2016 of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.
He also appreciated the treatment provided since his arrival and the transparent and honest talks held with the main authorities of this Asian nation. At the same time, the Chinese ruler highlighted the significance of the traditional fraternity between Beijing and Havana, advocated for binding ties in multiple fields and appreciated Cuba’s role in fostering his country’s relations with the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Xi recalled that Cuba was the first State in the region to establish ties with China, described it as a good friend and ratified the determination to support it in defending its sovereignty and development efforts. He also expressed his support for the establishment of a new era in the traditional friendship between the two nations.
The leaders’ talks ended with the signing of new agreements to boost investment and economic cooperation in several sectors…
Earlier, he visited the monuments to Mao Zedong, the founder of China’s republic in 1949, and to the People’s Heroes in the symbolic Tiananmen Square, where he laid wreaths. Diaz-Canel signed a book of honor at the end of the ceremony, and reaffirmed his commitment to the construction of socialism.
By Prensa Latina
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel described the meetings he held with Vietnamese
authorities as excellent, as part of his visit to this country.
“Excellent meetings with the highest Vietnamese authorities. They ratify the will to raise the level of our economic relations to the same level as political relations,” said the Cuban head of State in his @DiazCanelB on Twitter.
The Cuban leader also expressed his appreciation to the Vietnamese people in building their development model.
“Much to learn from our Vietnamese brothers, winners of wars, blockades and also from the inheritances of underdevelopment, with exemplary work, creativity and discipline. We are Cuba,” he stressed. Before starting this tour, he made a stopover in France, and then an official visit to Russia.
In each stopover Diaz-Canel ratified the continuity of the Cuban Revolution and the brotherhood of the Cuban people with each nation he has visited. Diaz-Canel was received in Vietnam by his peer, Nguyen Phu Trong, and the two leaders renewed decades of political identity, friendly cooperation and friendship between Cuba and Vietnam. He also met with the chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, and they agreed that parliamentary ties are essential to establish close friendship between both countries.
Likewise, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received Diaz-Canel, and ratified the will to consolidate economic and cooperation relations to equate them with policies. The Cuban president laid a wreath at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, one of the most visited places in this capital and a part of Vietnam’s history, where the remains of the father of the country’s independence and reunification lie.
By Prensa Latina
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel concluded in Laos on Sunday the Asian segment of a tour that also took him to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), China and Vietnam, after visits to France and Russia in Europe. The Cuban’s statements confessed that he was impressed by the performance by the economy of Laos, where he is on an official visit that will conclude his tour of four Asian countries.
“The deep Asian spirituality captivates in #Laos. Here we are very much loved since the times of combative solidarity. Its economic growth and the quality of public works inspire. Thanks for the example. #SomosCuba #SomosContinuidad,” the Cuban president wrote on Twitter.
During his official visit here, Diaz-Canel held official talks with his counterpart, Bounnhang Vorachith. At the meeting, Vorachith, who is also the secretary general of the Popular Revolutionary Party of Laos, noted that for his compatriots, the name of Cuba means a friend in another sea and Diaz-Canel’s visit “is for our people an incentive to keep fighting, keep working and keep strengthening relations.”
Later, Diaz-Canel met with Prime Minister, Thongloun Sisoulith. The Cuban president noted that November 11 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Lao People’s Armed Forces, and this event “marked the beginning of our collaboration and solidarity with this brother people.”
In another tweet, Diaz-Canel wrote, “We celebrate in #Laos the 50th anniversary of the Command of the National Liberation Forces. It was in the legendary caves of #Viengxay, where our doctors consolidated the unswerving friendship of our peoples. #SomosCuba #SomosContinuidad.” The Cuban president also met with the speaker of the National Assembly, Pany Yathotou, who described his visit as very important.
Yathotou noted that his presence in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR), although brief, will give an appreciable boost to the ties of cooperation and friendship between the two governments and peoples.
In his meetings with local authorities, Diaz-Canel conveyed a cordial salutation from the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Raul Castro. This is the first visit to Laos by a president of the Cuban Councils of State and of Ministers, and the second visit paid by Diaz-Canel, whose first visit was as Cuba’s vice president in June 2013. Havana and Vientiane established diplomatic relations in 1974, but their ties go beyond that categorization. These relations are characterized by political trust, brotherhood and solidarity among their peoples, parties and governments.