The Government of Cuba says fraternal links with Africa are part and parcel of the historic ties between Cuba and the continent, based on deep cultural roots derived from the heinous enslavement of over a million human beings, torn from their natural environment in Africa.
“For all of us in Cuba, celebrating Africa Day is an especially important event. On 25th May we commemorate the founding of the Organization of African Unity in 1963 and that of the subsequent African Union in 2001, thereby maintaining the principles underlying the continent’s unity”; says the Cuban government.
Speaking during celebration of Africa Day recently, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Sierra Diaz says, the bilateral relations between Cuba and the African countries continue to grow closer and to diversify. “We have bilateral cooperation projects under way in practically the totality of the African countries.
He says in the same way Cubans took up arms with their African brothers to help defend African independence and sovereignty, there are now over 5,000 Cuban co-workers rendering service on the African continent, in sectors including health, education, construction, sport and agriculture, while there are nearly 9,000 African students following courses in Cuba, all of which underscores the readiness of the Cuban government and people to turn into practical reality the legacy of late Commander-In-Chief Fidel Castro in his conception of revolution.
He quotes former president Fidel Castro as saying: “Revolution is … fighting for our dreams of justice for Cuba and for the world, which is the foundation of our patriotism, our socialism and our internationalism”.
According to Vice-Minister Diaz, Africa is currently embroiled in the implementation of Agenda 2063, approved by the African Union, and in the revival of the concepts of pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance, through the introduction of far-reaching socioeconomic programs, on which Cuba has offered its unconditional support.
The Vice-Minister quotes Gen. Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party as saying: “Cuba, which carries African blood in its veins, rose up in the struggle for independence and the abolition of slavery and, subsequently, has had the privilege of fighting and building alongside the African nations”.
“We cannot end without acknowledging the unanimous support of the governments, leaders, organizations and peoples of Africa in the struggle against the US embargo on Cuba, including the vote in favour of ending this policy by the African Union and by the UN General Assembly”, he adds.
He then thanks African governments and leaders, political organizations and general public for their expressions of friendship in the numerous messages of congratulation received on the election of Comrade Miguel Díaz-Canel as Chairman of the Councils of State and of Ministers.
“I reiterate that Cuba’s relations with Africa are indestructible and that, loyal and faithful to our history, we shall continue to strengthen the bonds of cooperation and solidarity, to the benefit of our peoples.
Today, Africa is a key actor in international affairs. Its 54 member states account for one-third of the UN General Assembly and half in other forums for international negotiation, including the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 + China. Such considerations underscore the legitimacy of its aspiration to take a permanent seat on the Security Council.”
-Story by Jonathan Browne