Chinese President Visits Santiago de Cuba

Raul Castro and Xi Jinping in Santiago de Cuba on July 23, 2014. Photo: Jorge Luis Guibert /

HAVANA TIMES — Chinese president Xi Jinping traveled on Wednesday with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro to the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, on the last day of his visit to the Caribbean nation.

Santiago, Cuba’s second largest city and located about 800 kilometers from Havana, was severely damaged in October 2012 by Hurricane “Sandy”, which killed 11 people and destroyed or damaged more than 220,000 homes in the eastern part of the island. The city is still under reconstruction.

“It’s a pleasure to come to this beautiful land,” said Xi upon his arrival in Santiago. Later in the day the Chinese president was scheduled to fly back to his country after spending over a week in Latin America.

During his stay in Cuba, the two countries’ leaders signed 29 trade and cooperation agreements, after official talks on Tuesday with Raul Castro. Among them is a credit to build a port terminal in Santiago and contracts for China to purchase Cuban nickel derivatives.