HAVANA TIMES – Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel has been touring North Korea, a country with strong governmental ties to the Caribbean Island. Both countries reject international criticism of their human rights records and have always pointed to the United States as the worst violator.
While Cuba is now in a process of rapprochement with Washington, US ties with Pyongyang remain weak.
Diaz-Canel is scheduled to take over as president of Cuba when Raul Castro retires in 2018, which would bring an end to 59 years of rule by the Castro brothers. Kim Jong Un is in the third generation of family rule in North Korea.
The following is an article published Monday by Progreso Weekly quoting the Cuban and North Korean press, who, in their non-informative language, report on the visit of Diaz-Canel to the Asian country.
Cuban VP Díaz-Canel meets with North Korean president
Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s supreme leader, met in Pyongyang with Miguel Díaz-Canel, vice president of Cuba, “who is visiting that sisterly nation on the occasion of the celebration of the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” the website Cubadebate reported on Monday.
“During the encounter, they exchanged views on the excellent state of the bilateral links, characterized by close relations of cooperation and mutual support in multiple spheres, as well as the current situation in Asia and Latin America,” Cubadebate said.
“Kim Jong Un sent a warm greeting to the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and the president of the Councils of State and Ministers, Army Gen. Raúl Castro Ruz. After the meeting, the leader invited the Cuban delegation to enjoy a concert in honor of the visitors.”
The following account of Díaz-Canel’s previous activities in Pyongyang is extracted from reports from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], hosted a Cuban state delegation headed by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, first vice president of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba, which paid a courtesy call on him at the Mansudae Assembly Hall Saturday [Sept.5.]
“The friendly relations between the two countries provided by the great Comrade Kim Il Sung and Comrade Kim Jong Il together with Comrades Fidel Castro Ruz and Raúl Castro Ruz are steadily developing under the special care of Comrade Kim Jong Un and Comrade Raúl Castro Ruz,” Díaz-Canel said.
“Cuba and the DPRK are far away from each other geographically but they are firmly united, thanks to the common idea and friendship, and the two peoples are comrades-in-arms standing together on the forefront for independence against imperialism.”
Díaz-Canel thanked the Workers’ Party and government of Korea for extending solidarity to the Cuban people in the struggle to shatter the U.S. blockade against Cuba, adding that Cuba is always fully supportive of the DPRK’s cause.
Earlier on Saturday, Díaz-Canel met with Premier Pak Pong Ju, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
Later in the day, the Cuban delegation visited Mangyongdae, the birthplace of the late President Kim Il Sung. As they were briefed on the revolutionary career of the president, the guests viewed the historic relics preserved with much care at his old home.
The delegation also toured the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the Museum of Weapons and Equipment of the Korean People’s Army, and other sites
The Cuban delegation arrived in Pyongyang on Friday [Sept. 4] from Beijing, where it attended the Victory Day celebrations.
It was greeted at the airport by Foreign Minister Ri, Vice Minister Ri, and So Ho Won, vice chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries.
From there, the delegation visited the statues of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill, laid a floral wreath before the statues and paid tribute to them.
Also on Friday, talks were held between Yang Hyong Sop, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and vice-president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and Díaz-Canel at the Mansudae Assembly Hall.
At the talks, both sides exchanged their views on the issue of developing the friendly relations between the two countries and matters of mutual concern.