Kerala CM meets Cuban President in Havana, exchanges political dialogue

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez during a state visit to the island nation.

Kerala CM meets Cuban President in Havana, exchanges political dialogue

Photo credit: Pinarayi Vijayan/Twitter

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the President of the Republic of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez during his state visit to the island nation. Vijayan, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], expressed his friendship and solidarity with the Cuban people.

Diaz-Canel welcomed the Kerala chief minister to the Palace of Revolution saying, “Always the political dialogue, supported by visits of the highest level, between the State of Kerala and Cuba, has been characteristic of our close relations. And this visit of yours (Vijayan’s) also ratifies, nourishes, supports and consolidates this relationship, and has the significance that you are visiting our country in the year in which we are going to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the first visit of Commander-in-Chief, Fidel Castro, to India.”

“The people of Kerala have always felt a solid friendship and solidarity with the people of Cuba. The names of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara are known in every home in our country. These great leaders are admired in Kerala for their strong commitments to socialist ideas and for their contributions to the transformation of society and the ongoing struggle for justice”, Vijayan was quoted in a statement on the website of the Presidency.

Castro was a source of inspiration for the leftwing parties in Kerala, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist group of nations in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The leftwing parties, including the ruling CPI(M), and their sympathisers in Kerala had looked up to the former Cuban president as a symbol of the anti-imperialist movement.

Diaz-Canel appreciated the people of Kerala for supporting Cuba against all sanctions imposed on it by the US. “We have always maintained a very close relationship (with Kerala), and we appreciate all the support that your State has given us in relation to the fight against the blockade”, the Cuban president stressed.

“For more than six decades you have consistently defended the cause of anti-imperialism. We are proud that our small state of Kerala, in India, also shares your commitment to the well-being of the workers, the poor and the oppressed”, Vijayan responded to Diaz-Canel.

Meanwhile, the statement quotes the Cuban president praising India’s participation in economic and social development programmes in Cuba, such as those related to the supply of rice and important projects for developing fields with photovoltaic energy.

Diaz-Canel told Vijayan that Cuba has set out to develop an active presidency that will allow it to bring the voice of the countries and the Group of 77 (the largest intergovernmental organisation of developing countries in the United Nations), to the main international forums.

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