Miguel Diaz-Canel arrived in Moscow
A photo: REUTERS
On Saturday, November 19, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel arrived in Moscow. He will hold talks with Vladimir Putin and take part in the opening of a monument to Fidel Castro in the Russian capital.
These themes are live Radio “Komsomolskaya Pravda” (97.2 FM) we discussed with Viktor Shabrin, who has worked in Cuba for many years.
… – Viktor Vasilyevich, the leader of Cuba – already in a new capacity – after all, he has been to Russia.
– Yes, Alexander. The respected President of the Republic of Cuba, who is also the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, came to Russia on an official visit in 2019 and even met with the leaders of the Russian Society for Friendship with Cuba.
– Oh, so you talked to him then?
– No, no, I was in Havana at that time. There was an international conference at which I spoke.
Just then, our Russian Society for Friendship with Cuba celebrated its 55th anniversary, and by that date we had published the second edition of the book, of which I am the author, “Cuba is my love.” This edition opened with greetings from the two leaders of our countries.
Yes, this time the distinguished guest, along with official meetings and negotiations with the leadership of our country, will take part in the opening of the monument to Fidel Castro, the outstanding commander, statesman and politician of the Republic of Cuba Fidel Castro.
This ceremony will take place on November 22 in the capital’s Sokol district, on a square that already bears the name of Fidel Castro. By the way, members and activists of our society also made their donations for the creation of the monument.
– Yeah, got it. Comrade Vice President, then please tell us what is the state of our political and trade relations with friendly, fraternal Cuba, as it has always been said?
– Friendly Cuba.
Well, I think you are well aware that the Russian Federation and the Republic of Cuba, as it was officially announced at the meetings of the top leadership of our two states, are strategic partners. And indeed it is. Because after a long break connected with various historical events in the life of our country, our relations have been practically restored in recent decades.
I mean political relations and – in the sphere of economy.
But, unfortunately, the volume of economic cooperation is still very small – in comparison with the period when Cuba worked closely with the Soviet Union, then our country provided enormous economic assistance to the Island of Liberty.
Last year, as far as I know, the volume of trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation was somewhere around $200 million. This, of course, does not meet the interests of our two states.
Therefore, on the eve of the visit of the President of Cuba to the Russian Federation in Moscow, just two days ago, the 19th meeting of the Russian-Cuban Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation was held.
This meeting was chaired by the Vice President of the Government of Cuba, Ricardo Cabrisas, my old acquaintance from work back in Havana, and from our side, by Dmitry Chernyshenko, Vice Prime Minister of the Government of the Russian Federation.
The Commission discussed issues of further cooperation, primarily in the energy sector. It was, as far as I know, about the need, with the help of Russian specialists, to increase oil recovery from one of the fields in Cuba.
Well, and – it is supposed to develop cooperation in a number of other areas. We are talking about the modernization of the metallurgical plant, the supply of vehicles for the railway, automotive equipment.
Well, the conversation, of course, was about the fact that, thank God, cooperation in the field of education is going well. Cuban youth willingly enter the universities of Moscow and other cities.
– Well, and, probably, we will talk about the activation of tourism?
– Yes, of course. Because tourism for Cuba is one of the main, perhaps, today areas of obtaining foreign exchange funds.
The volume of economic, scientific and technical cooperation between Cuba and our country, as well as with other states, was seriously affected and is still negatively affected by the economic boycott by the United States of America.
– Boycott Cuba.
– Yes, the boycott of Cuba. After all, the United States forbade even companies from other countries to supply oil to Cuba. And, thank God, friendly Venezuela is helping the Cubans quite well in this respect.
– Great. Thank you very much for the conversation. And let’s say some Cuban words.
– Long live Russian-Cuban friendship! Venseremos! Together we will win!