The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 9th November 2018

A Warm Welcome For Cuban Leader In DPR Korea

by our Asian Affairs correspondent

CUBAN leader Miguel Diaz-Canel held top-level talks with Chairman Kim Jong Un and the Democratic Korean leadership this week as part of a world tour that began in France and ends next week after visits to People’s China, Vietnam and Laos.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel met Democratic Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday, in the capital city of Pyongyang, “in an atmosphere of camaraderie and friendship” for talks that strengthened the firm ties between the socialist island in the Caribbean and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Both leaders held a private meeting later. They agreed to work for “greater expansion and development of cooperation and exchanges in various fields, such as the economy, culture, public health, science and technology to meet common interests”. The Cuban communist said that his visit to the DPRK was a demonstration of the good relations between both nations, noting that “our relationship is historical and based on mutual respect”.

Kim Jong Un said the visit by the Cuban leader constitutes “a turning point in the friendship between the two countries” which are “in the same trench in the fight to defend their sovereignty and dignity.” The Cuban leader landed in Pyongyang on Sunday for the first visit by a Cuban head of state since fidel Castro’s talks in the DPRK in 1986. But the two revolutions were bound together from the start. fidel Castro, Che Guevara and revolutionary Cuba’s first president, Osvaldo Dorticos all visited the DPRK.

The Cuban leader who brought greetings from General Raúl Castro and the Cuban people received a tumultuous welcome wherever he went. On the second day of his visit he went to Kim Il Sung University that was established in 1946, and held further talks with DPRK leaders. His tour ended with a spectacular gymnastics performance, which included the projection of images of fidel with Kim Il Sung, and Raúl with Kim Jong Il, as well as Diaz-Canel and Kim Jong Un, that drew extended applause.

Cuba established diplomatic relations with Democratic Korea in 1960 and sent Che to Pyongyang for talks with great leader Kim Il Sung. Che said the DPRK was the socialist country he liked best and a model for Cuba.

During the Cuban “missile crisis” when the socialist island was under threat of another US invasion some foreign embassies evacuated their staff from Havana. But Kim Il Sung told the DPRK diplomats and their families as well as DPRK students at Cuban colleges to arm themselves and fight to the end at the side of the Cuban people if the Americans attack.

Miguel Diaz-Canel landed in Russia at the beginning of the month for talks in the Kremlin with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the speakers of both houses of the Russian parliament. The two leaders signed a strategic partnership agreement that will provide Russian assistance for Cuban transport, communications and defence systems.

Diaz-Canel thanked the Russian government for its firm position against the US economic, commercial, and financial blockade, and went on to emphasise the willingness expressed by President Putin to support the economic updating process underway in Cuba, reflected in the effective participation of the Russian government and enterprises in sectors of key importance to development plans through 2030 and beyond. On leaving Pyongyang Miguel Diaz-Canel flew to Shanghai to begin a state visit to China and talks with President, Xi Jinping, and other high-ranking officials. The Cuban leader’s agenda in China included the signing of bilateral agreements and a tour of the International Import Expo which opened in .Shanghai on Monday. Cuba is participating in the event with leading products and services. After China, the Cuban president’s international tour will continue in Vietnam and Laos