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Friendship and Cooperation Between Cuba and Angola Consolidating and Growing
The reception and official talks between Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz and José Eduardo dos Santos, the Angolan head of state, as well as the other activities during this intense and fruitful day, exceeded protocol and turned into a fraternal, sincere, and productive exchange, in line with the sisterhood existing between both peoples.

Afterward, the two presidents greeted Angolan government officials, largely represented by the Council of Ministers, as well as members of the Cuban delegation. This was followed by a meeting between the two delegations led by their presidential leaders.

Both emphasized the decisive role played by Fidel, leader of the Revolution, in the Cuban people’s capacity for resistance, the basis of their victories in the face of many aggressions, and in Cuba’s internationalist calling. Likewise they stressed the symbolism of Raúl’s visit, which coincides with the 48th anniversary of the beginning of the armed struggle in Angola, on February 4, 1961.

Raúl recalled that the Cuban victory at the Bay of Pigs came two-and-a-half months later in that same year, and affirmed that the historic sisterhood between Cuba and Angola is indestructible, because it was forged from their shared struggle against colonialism and apartheid under the leadership of two exceptional men: Agostinho Neto and Fidel Castro.

He noted his satisfaction in confirming the reality of peace in this country and the commitment of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the government and the people to reconstruction and the strengthening of national unity and emphasized the decisive role played by President Dos Santos in efforts to attain this maximum objective.

He reaffirmed the Cuban disposition to contribute modestly to Angola’s economic reconstruction with the support of specialists and internationalist workers.

For his part, the Angolan President affirmed that Cuba’s actions in solidarity with his country were determining factors in its independence. He recalled that when his country was abandoned by the administrative power, the island sent its finest cadres to provide assistance.

He congratulated the Cuban people on the 50th anniversary of the Revolution, for overcoming every aggression and being worthy of the respect of all. He condemned the U.S. blockade and reaffirmed that Cubans can always count on Angola’s friendship and modest solidarity, as well as the decision, even in the midst of an international economic crisis, to increase cooperation, supported by the complementariness of the two economies.

He noted that Cuba and Angola are examples of independence, consistency in political decisions, and independent and sovereign action.

The two presidents moved on to a private working meeting, in which they reviewed ongoing cooperation programs as well as those in the process of being implemented. The meeting took place, President Dos Santos affirmed, in a frank and open manner in keeping with the solid friendship that has been forged.

In parallel, members of the two delegations assessed various subjects included on the agenda of the visit and informed the two presidents of the results.


In honor of the Cuban delegation’s visit, the Angolan National Assembly held a special midday session this Thursday.

In a speech interrupted on various occasions by enthusiastic applause from Assembly deputies, Raúl transmitted “greetings and a fraternal embrace from the Cuban people and the leader of the Revolution, compañero Fidel Castro Ruz.”

He paid tribute to the 2,077 Cuban who died fulfilling the internationalist mission in Angola, assumed in a totally voluntary way, and emphasized that their sacrifice was worthwhile.

He said he that was convinced that he was expressing the sentiments of the Cuban people in confirming before the deputies the commitment made by Cubans to comrade President Neto: “To be together with our Angolan brothers and sister in the bad times and good times, mutually supporting each other.”

For his part, the President of the Angolan National Assembly, Fernando da Piedade dos Santos, affirmed that is was a great honor for the deputies to be in the presence of a hero of the Sierra Maestra, on a visit that sets a new milestone in the friendship between Angola and Cuba, a country from which, at decisive moments, the African nation received important and altruistic help in the political, military and social spheres.

He stated that the sons and daughters of the homeland of Agostinho Neto recognize in an inestimable way the noble blood spilled by sons of the homeland of José Martí and Fidel Castro in Angola, but also for the independence of Namibia and the end of apartheid.

He expressed his confidence that the visit by the Cuban president will strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries and affirmed that the doors of the National Assembly would always be open to welcome him.


After the National Assembly session, Raúl was taken to May 1 Plaza, to pay tribute in the name of the Cuban people to Agostinho Neto, founder of the Angolan nation, at the monument erected to the unforgettable independence fighter in the place that was an important scenario of popular struggles against the colonial regime.

The Cuban delegation was accompanied by Francisca Espíritu Santo, governor of Luanda and Higinio López Carneiro, minister of public works.

From there, the Cuban president went directly to the Alto das Cruzes Cemetery where he placed a wreath at the grave that, for many years, held the remains of Brigade General Raúl Díaz Argüelles, who died on Angolan soil in 1976, until they were transferred to Cuba along with the remains of the other Cubans who died defending the independence of the sister nation. The ribbon on the wreath bore the words, “To the internationalist combatants who fell in Angola, from the people of Cuba.”

Raúl also toured various other sites in the cemetery in the Angolan capital where 70 other Cuban internationalist combatants who died in this African country were buried.


In the afternoon, Raúl received the successive visits of Fernando da Piedade dos Santos, president of the National Assembly; Prime Minister Paulo Kassouma; and a delegation from the (MPLA), including its vice president, Roberto Víctor de Almeida; its general secretary, Juliao Mateus Paolo “Dino Matrosse”; its organizational secretary, Agostinho Moteca; and its foreign relations secretary, Paulo Texeira.


Early in the evening, the delegation returned to the Presidential Palace to sign four agreements aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two countries.

The ceremony, presided over by Raúl and Dos Santos, was attended by the rest of the Cuban delegation and a broad representation of the Angolan government.

Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, vice president of the Cuban Council of Ministers, and Angolan Foreign Minister Assunção Dos Anjos signed two cooperation agreements: the first in the geology and mining sector and the second for industry. They also signed an equal number of memorandums of understanding: one on the state of and prospects for bilateral cooperation, and another between the two countries’ Ministries of Education.


Thursday’s busy schedule ended with a dinner hosted by President Dos Santos in honor of the Cuban president and his accompanying delegation.

Addressing those present, the Angolan president affirmed that the friendship between the peoples of Cuba and Angola would always endure, because it was forged in times of difficulty. He reiterated that Cuba could be sure of counting on Angola’s unconditional support, and he condemned the U.S. blockade of the island.

In response to his host’s warm remarks, Raúl said that the meetings held had confirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations on all levels, and the great prospects for ties between the two peoples, governments and Parties.


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