By Ilsa Rodríguez Santana
Pretoria, Sep 5 (Prensa Latina) The annual consultations between the foreign ministries of South Africa and Cuba concluded here today with the satisfaction of the advanced and the commitment to deepen them and increase areas of cooperation, trade and implement other initiatives.
Headed by the South African Vice Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Alvin Botes, and First Deputy Foreign Minister of Cuba, Marcelino Medina, the meeting was summarized in a joint statement signed by both officials.
For Vice Minister Botes, appointed last May in office, this was a meeting between friends and highlighted South Africa’s interest in collaborating in research and technology in the medical field, expanding commercial cooperation and holding the meeting next year in Havana.
He recalled the links between Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro and his important contribution to ensure a fairer future.
Member of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the young Deputy Foreign Minister has a degree in Public Administration in the specialty of technology, has postgraduate degrees in Public Administration and Development and currently prepares a master’s degree at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Botes announced that South Africa will send a high-level delegation to participate in the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the foundation of Havana and confirmed the invitation extended by Medina on behalf of the Foreign Minister Bruno Rodrìguez, to his peer Nadeli Pandor to visit Cuba.
The Cuban diplomat arrived in this capital yesterday on the first leg of a tour of four African countries, which also includes Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Rwanda.
On his first day here Medina held an interview with the ANC secretary general, Ace Magashule, who thanked the Cuban support to South Africa since the fight against apartheid and the continued cooperation in health, education, water resources and construction, among others.
The Cuban official offered the Secretary General an overview of the situation in his country and Latin America and in particular, the negative impact caused by the sharpening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade the United States has maintained against that nation for almost 60 years.
The ANC leader reiterated South Africa’s support for the cause to eliminate the blockade and advocated for expanding and strengthening current bilateral collaboration, as well as extending that cooperation to other sectors.
Among other activities in South Africa, the delegation of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated last night in an event organized by the Association of Friendship with Cuba on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, signed on May 11, 1994 by then presidents Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro.
Held in Freedom Park of this capital, where the names of two thousand 289 Cubans who lost their lives in the wars for the liberation of African countries, including South Africa, are registered, the act also featured representatives of the ANC, the Communist Party and from many other friends of Cuba.
The Cuban delegation ended their stay in South Africa and traveled tonight to Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, where they will discuss the state of bilateral relations with their hosts.
A note from the Cuban embassy in Zimbabwe notes that among the topics prioritized at the meeting between the foreign ministries of both countries is medical and teaching cooperation and new collaboration commitments.