During a speech at the Duma (Russian parliament) on Tuesday, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel rejected the unilateral sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies on Russia.
A teleSUR report said:
“Cuba strongly condemns the unfair unilaterally imposed sanctions against Russia. The reasons for the current conflict must be found in the aggressive policy of the United States and in the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the borders with Russia,” he said, specifying that Cuba supports a negotiated solution to the Ukrainian conflict.
Diaz-Canel commented that Russia and Cuba are successfully developing bilateral projects despite the sanctions and the global economic crisis. Among these projects is oil exploration in the Boca de Jaruco area, where hydrocarbon production is growing.
The Cuban leader also highlighted that both countries are working on the modernization of an important steel plant whose first phase will be completed in the near future.
Diaz-Canel announced that the Cuban Parliament president Juan Lazo Hernandez will soon visit Russia.
He recalled that the Duma president Viacheslav Volodin visited Cuba in February.
Parliamentary relations are “an important pillar of bilateral ties and a key piece for the promotion and development of our economic, commercial, and financial cooperation,” he said.
Russia Honors Memory of Fidel
On Tuesday, Putin and Diaz-Canel unveiled a monument in honor of Fidel Castro, the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution.
“Fidel Castro dedicated his whole life to an unconditional struggle for the triumph of the ideas of good, peace, and justice,” Putin said, adding that the Cuban revolutionary “is rightly considered one of the 20th century’s most brilliant and charismatic leaders. He is a truly legendary person.”
The three-meter-tall bronze statue lies in Fidel Castro Square, located in Moscow’s Sokol district, where Putin and Diaz-Canel placed two large bouquets of red roses during a ceremony in which funeral music was played.
Later, at a meeting with Diaz-Canel in the Kremlin, Putin again described the leader of the Cuban Revolution as a brilliant person.
“I remember our meetings in detail,” he said, highlighting Fidel’s ability to deeply understand the “nuances of events that occurred quite far from Cuba.”
The statue represents a young Castro with his traditional open jacket, cartridge belt, beret, and campaign boots. On the stone pedestal on which the statue was placed, the work of the Russian sculptor Alexei Chebanenko, the word “FIDEL” is inscribed.
The initiative to erect a statue in honor of the Cuban leader belongs to the Russian Military Historical Society, which allocated some USD333, 000 for it.
The square has been named after Fidel Castro since 2017, a year after the death of the revolutionary leader on Nov. 25, 2016. Near the square are also streets dedicated to the late presidents Salvador Allende (Chile) and Hugo Chavez (Venezuela).
Cuban President Bids Farewell To Russia
“So long, dear Russia. We will never forget your outstretched hand every time we need it. Nor these brief but intense days in Moscow. Thank you,” the Cuban leader stressed on his Twitter account.
In several messages posted on social networks, Diaz-Canel stressed that, despite the adverse conditions imposed by the pandemic caused by covid-19, Russia and Cuba had made progress in the realization of projects in various areas of bilateral collaboration.
According to the island leader, during his stay in Moscow, the positive results of the recently concluded 19th Session of the Cuba-Russia Intergovernmental Commission were also discussed, including identifying critical joint projects contributing to the National Economic and Social Development Plan until 2030.
“The importance of increasing Russian investment projects in Cuba was evaluated, as well as the supply of food and inputs for its production,” Diaz-Canel emphasized on Twitter.
In addition, the interest in expanding the Russian tourist flow to the island, including corporate tourism, was reiterated, the president added.
During the four-day visit to Russia, the Cuban president held high-level meetings, among them with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin; with the president of the ruling United Russia party and vice president of that nation’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev; the president of the Federation Council (Senate), Valentina Matvienko; and the president of the State Duma (Lower House of Parliament), Vyacheslav Volodin.
He also met with His Holiness Cyril, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, and with the chairman of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Guenadi Zyuganov, among other important Russian personalities.
Díaz-Canel was seen off at the Moscow airport by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Serguéi Riabkov, from where he left for Ankara, the capital of Turkey, the next destination of his international tour that will also include China.