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Cuba and South Africa celebrate 30 years of diplomatic ties

Havana, May 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuba and South Africa are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations on Friday, when a post stamp allegorical to the special ties of friendship and cooperation that unite both nations was cancelled.

At the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, First Deputy Foreign Minister Gerardo Peñalver and South African Ambassador in Havana Yvonne Nkwenkwezi noted the officialization of these ties during a visit to Pretoria by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution , Fidel Castro, in 1994.

Peñalver recalled that Cuba was the first country to receive diplomatic recognition from the government led by the African National Congress (ANC) and opened the diplomatic mission from South Africa.

The establishment of relations and the opening of the embassy synthesized the history of shared efforts and sacrifices in the fight for freedom, justice and human dignity, said the Cuban diplomat, who pointed out that since 1961, Cuba welcomed young South Africans who received medical care, and professional and political training.

In that regard, he quoted Mandela’s words about the selfless and supportive nature of Cuba’s aid to Africa, “Cubans came to our region as doctors, teachers, soldiers, agricultural inspectors. Never as colonizers.”

The South African ambassador, in turn, stated that Pretoria and Havana have maintained solid strategic relations based on anti-colonial, anti-Apartheid and anti-imperialist principles, which are expressed in areas like education, health care, public works, and sports, among others.

Also present at the event were the ambassadors of Angola, Namibia and Mozambique, deputy Foreign ministers and other leaders of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) and government agencies and institutions.