Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Diaz-Canel
(Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Diaz-Canel in Moscow)

Russia’s Putin Cuba’s Diaz-Canel pledge to deepen ties

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Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Diaz-Canel in Moscow on Tuesday (Nov. 22) and pledged to deepen ties after unveiling a bronze-made three-meter-statue of Fidel Castro in a square named in honor of the Cuban revolutionary leader.

Putin told Diaz-Canel the two countries needed to build on the “solid foundation of friendship” established between Castro and Soviet leaders.

“It’s dynamic, on the move, looking forward. A perfect image of a true fighter” Putin said of the statue, which portrays Castro, who led the island nation from 1959 to 2008, gazing into the distance. Diaz-Canel said through a translator: “I think it reflects the personality of Fidel in the struggle, as we find ourselves in struggle today.”

The two officials later held talks at the Kremlin palace.

“We have always opposed various kinds of restrictions, embargoes, blockades and so on, and have always supported Cuba on international platforms. And we see that Cuba takes the same position with regard to our country, with regard to Russia,” Putin said.

The US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960 following the revolution led by Castro.

Earlier this month, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn the ban on trade amid an economic crisis on the Caribbean island.

For his part, Diaz-Canel said Havana appreciates Moscow’s efforts to move the world towards multipolarity.

“This visit has a deep significance for us. We are holding it when both countries, Russia and Cuba, are subject to unfair unilateral sanctions. We appreciate all the work that the Russian Federation is doing to ensure that the world moves towards multipolarity,” he said.

The Cuban president arrived in Moscow on Nov. 19. Cuba and Russia remain close geopolitical, economic and military allies. Russia has forgiven massive amounts of Cuban debt, propped up its key ally with 700K barrels of oil.

With reporting by TASS, Prensa Latina, Reuters