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Africa-Cuba, friends for a long trip

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By Yimel Díaz Malmierca

On May 25, the world celebrates Africa Day, the land where life began, and the secret that will allow the human species to perpetuate remains.

For Cubans, the link with that continent has its origins in the horrifying slavery that uprooted millions of natives from their land and tested their capacity for resistance. Rarely was there greater cruelty, but Africans resisted and thrived to set the cultural tone of the places where they found a definitive home.

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Cubans have great sympathy for the so-called black continent, where their roots are, and where we have returned again and again throughout history.

The triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, defined among other peculiarities by a foreign policy of solidarity, laid the foundations for a constructive and collaborative reunion, fundamentally in sectors such as diplomacy, education and health. Cuba currently maintains bilateral relations with the 55 member states of the African Union (AU), and with regional and sub regional integration organizations.

More than 350 thousand Cubans participated in internationalist campaigns in Africa and thousands of civilian collaborators have maintained their presence on that continent since the deployment of the first medical brigade in Algeria, precisely in the year in which the Organization of African Unity was created. (OUA) in 1963.

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More than 34 thousand students from all African countries have studied various specialties in Cuba. Many of them have gained notable leadership in their societies. This collaboration was not stopped not even by the covid-19 pandemic that paralyzed the world.

Africa has proposed greater prosperity, based above all on its own potential. In that sense, the current deputy director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Ángel Villa Hernández, declared a few years ago that “Agenda 2063, designed in 2013 by the AU, provides numerous spaces for Cuban insertion. “In the immediate future, we are willing to contribute to the establishment of Regional Centers for Disease Control, which has already been agreed with the UA.”

On that occasion, the Caribbean diplomat also recalled the African proverb: “A friend is like a source of water during a long journey,” to illustrate his certainty about the path that relations between Cuba and Africa will take in the future.

(*) Cuban journalist from the Workers newspaper

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