RUSSIAN Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Cuba and Russia are being subjected to unprecedented pressure against any rules of international law and existing international conventions.
During bilateral talks in Havana last Thursday with President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Prime Minister Medvedev noted that the US economic blockade of Cuba had intensified over the past few months.
“We can see how fast and dynamically Cuba is developing. The Cuban people are spearheaded into the future and are building a modern country. I can assure you that you can rely on Russia’s assistance in this positive endeavour,” he said. “This meeting has shown once again that Cuba is an important ally for Russia in Latin America and that our forward-looking relations are free from any time-serving considerations, because they are based on mutual respect and friendship between our nations.
However, not everyone likes our dialogue. Yes, this is true. The US economic blockade of Cuba has intensified over the past few months. There is an obvious trend to create a toxic atmosphere around economic cooperation with Cuba and to warn off investors, as well as to start an energy blockade of the island.”
Prime Minister Medvedev noted that nearly 60 years of Cuba’s resistance to the US embargo show that such attempts would not succeed, just as the attempts to put pressure on Russia.
“We stand firmly against the economic, trade and financial blockade of Cuba, and we fully support Havana’s demand that the blockade be lifted,” he said. “I would like to stress again that Cuba has good friends and reliable partners in Russia who see the principles of sovereignty and independence as the core of our national character and state policy.
Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez and I have reaffirmed our resolve to strengthen our strategic partnership and have signed documents that speak louder than words.”
Prime Minister Medvedev said the duo agreed to continue providing active support to large-scale joint projects in the field of transport, infrastructure and agriculture, as well as in energy, high technology and digital development.
“I can tell you, by way of example, that tomorrow I will attend the ceremony to launch a Zarubezhneft refinery at Boca de Jaruco, where a horizontal well will be drilled for the first time in Cuba. This project, just as many others, is part of the general context of socioeconomic development and modernisation implemented by the Cuban authorities,” he said.
“Russian businesses are ready to take part in this modernisation effort, and the Russian government will support this…We will continue working in all spheres, including in the field of cultural and humanitarian cooperation.”
Prime Minister Medvedev said 2019 was special because the island was celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution and the 500th anniversary of the capital, Havana.
He noted that next year would mark 60 years since the establishment of Russia-Cuba diplomatic relations.
“I completely agree with your evaluation of the current situation. Our countries are being subjected to unprecedented pressure – and against any rules of international law and existing international conventions at that,” said Prime Minister Medvedev. “Therefore, this kind of talks and meetings help us to overcome these difficulties as well. What is equally important is that our talks today are followed by the signing of a whole number of documents that will promote our cooperation in various areas.”
And President Diaz-Canel said Cuba would attend the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War in Moscow.
“We are thankful to Russia for supporting us in our fight against the blockade. We strongly condemn NATO’s attempts to surround the Russian Federation and close in on its borders. We strongly condemn the unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia,” said President Diaz-Canel. “We also highly value Russia’s role in achieving balance in the modern world and peace on the planet. As a matter of fact, we have plenty of reasons to be pleased and content with this visit. Thank you very much, Mr Prime Minister and members of the delegation, for visiting Cuba in this difficult time. Cuba – its government and its people – sees it as a gesture of friendship, support and solidarity.”