Between Cuba and China, a universe of affections (+ Video)
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First Secretary Díaz-Canel makes an official visit to China, invited by the Chinese president Xi Jinping. Photo: Alejandro Azcuy

When in 2018 the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, visited the People’s Republic of China, he noted one of the books that are made available to his friend on these trips. who arrives and is warmly received: “Getting closer to the impressive history of this immense country is an exceptional opportunity.”

He expressed it this way because, in his opinion, the history of the Asian giant is “the basis of an ancient civilization whose cultural and historical values ​​have endured over time and constitute a heritage not only of China, but of all humanity.”

Trapped in those words was the relevance that this distant and friendly nation has for the Island, which, in these hours, once again becomes a special host. It is worth remembering that President Díaz-Canel recently sent the warmest congratulations to his counterpart Xi Jinping, for his re-election as Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, at the recently concluded 20th Congress of that political organization; and that the Asian dignitary has extended an official invitation to the Cuban president, shortly after the important conclave concluded.

Cuba and China are today referents –although each country does so based on its own characteristics– in what has to do with the construction of socialism. Between the two nations there is a will that definitely unites them firmly: contrary to the most complex international contexts, both have cultivated and defended friendship, and for more than 60 years they have known how to build deep cooperation ties in multiple spheres.

Biotechnology cooperation, for example, forms an area distinguished by maturity; and currently there is no area that is not directly connected to the fluid exchange between both countries. The People’s Republic of China ranks second in the world as a trading partner of the Island.

On September 28, 1960, the Greater Antilles became the first country in Latin America to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. In November of the same year, a Cuban delegation, headed by Ernesto Che Guevara, visited the Asian giant, and from that moment economic, scientific and technological cooperation agreements, and bilateral trade were born.

The nature of that start in relations persists until today: the sustained exchange of high-level visits has consolidated the dialogue, as well as the political trust between both nations. In the line of time, the important coincidences in the political field have been permanent notes, as well as the reciprocal support.

This harmony was not affected even in moments as difficult as when the covid-19 pandemic appeared, a scourge that entailed the opportunity to increase solidarity and support between both governments, because the harsh experience of China allowed Cuba to prepare early and create their own health protocols.

The history of cooperation, admiration and respect between Cuba and China is, without a doubt, a true reference at a planetary level. Many historical and cultural events have been the pieces that have shaped a solid relationship.

As a result, for example, of the physical disappearance of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, President Xi Jinping sent Army General Raúl Castro Ruz – then President of the Republic of Cuba – a message of condolences, in which he expressed: « I met Comrade Fidel Castro on many occasions and had in-depth conversations with him. His true knowledge and insight inspired me and his voice and looks live on in my memory. He will be sorely missed by me and the Chinese people.”

At another point in his message, the president stated: “The death of comrade Fidel Castro is a great loss for the Cuban and Latin American people. The Cuban and Latin American people lost an excellent son, and the Chinese people lost a close comrade and sincere friend. The glorious image of him and great achievements of him will be remembered by history ».

The keys to such endearing closeness should be sought, in addition to the attitude of great men towards history, in history itself: Cuba began to have a presence of Chinese in its land since the 16th century, although the most notable migrations occurred from the 19th century.

The children of the Asian continent cast their lot on the Island as true children: forever; and as such they took part, naturally, in the libertarian deeds of the Caribbean country. An obelisk dedicated to the Chinese soldier in Cuba, erected in Vedado, in the capital, in 1931, attests to the pride that also gravitates to a long path of friendship and familiarity.

At the top of that obelisk, as a phrase that seals the best of confidences, it can be read: “There was no Cuban Chinese deserter, there was no Cuban Chinese traitor.” And in the expression that unites two demonyms, who would doubt that there is a universe of affections enclosed?

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