Old and good friendships endure
Belarus and Cuba ready to take new steps in developing bilateral relations
Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez
Cuba hopes that Belarus will become an important player in its social and infrastructural development, as well as its modernisation. Meanwhile, Belarus has stated its readiness to contribute to this process, across all spheres.
“We see our place, Belarus’ place, in the Cuban economy. We’re prepared for this co-operation. Moreover, we’ve created good foundations, with about 30 intergovernmental agreements signed, creating a solid legal framework,” Mr. Lukashenko asserts. The President of Belarus notes that, in recent times, positive trends have been observed in trade turnover between our countries and in trade-economic collaboration. He comments, “We appreciate the normalisation of relations between Cuba and the United States of America,” adding that this should have a positive impact on the Cuban economy.
Belarus and Cuba have advanced in implementing joint projects, in the sci-tech field, as well as IT and pharmaceuticals. Cuba plans to further borrow from Belarusian experience in agro-industrial development.
Alexander Lukashenko and Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez discussed a whole range of bilateral issues, underlining top-level political dialogue and the coincidence of our countries’ positions across key international areas. It’s well known that Belarus and Cuba support each other within the international arena: within the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement and other organisations.
The President sees no obstacles to Belarus-Cuba diplomatic relations, noting, “We enjoy more than close positions across the whole international agenda, coinciding across most issues.” Mr. Díaz-Canel Bermúdez noted that Cuba appreciates Belarus’ peaceful initiatives and its major role in restoring peace to the region.
Mr. Lukashenko is hopeful that the visit by the high-ranking Cuban official will inspire further bilateral relations. He once more invited the President of the Council of State of Cuba, Raul Castro, to visit Belarus, and asked Mr. Díaz-Canel Bermúdez to convey his best wishes to Mr. Castro, noting, “I’ll be able to meet with him in the near future, to discuss the most urgent issues of international relations, as we’ve done before.”
Mr. Diaz-Canel Bermudez conveyed best wishes from President Castro to President Lukashenko, and invited him to visit Cuba at any convenient time. The Cuban delegation commented upon the warmth of the Belarusian people and the serious intentions of its Government, telling journalists that the visit to Belarus had been undertaken with great pleasure.
When we think of Cuba we tend to imagine sunny beaches, huge sugarcane plantations, elite cigars and famous rum, as well as expertise in the field of medicine. We also recall the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz. In fact, Cuba is also rich in iron ore, and occupies first place globally for nickel deposits. It is among the top three for cobalt extraction. Authorities are now modernising their industries, and are keen to involve Belarus in this process.
Change is afoot in Cuba, with Cuban-American relations ‘recharging’ for the first time in five decades. However, even during this geopolitical transformation, Havana remembers its traditional friends and partners. There’s no doubt that the Cubans intend to co-operate with our country in all spheres. This inspired the Minsk visit by the Deputy Chairman of the State Council and the Council of Ministers of Cuba, Mr. Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, who ranks second in Cuba’s state hierarchy.
By Vladimir Khromov