Pretoria, May 11, 2023.- Cuba and South Africa celebrate today 29 years of uninterrupted bilateral relations marked by brotherhood, solidarity and eternal friendship between our leaders, Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela.
The establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba was one of the first foreign policy acts of the democratic South African government and Cuba was the first country to receive diplomatic recognition from the ANC government, led by Mandela.
Throughout 29 years we have cooperated in the fields of housing, science and technology, agriculture, infrastructure development, human settlements, information and communication technologies, culture, and we are proud to continue cooperating to this day in education, water and sanitation, public works and health.
The excellent level of our relations has been confirmed in recent years. Despite the difficult scenario created by the COVID19 pandemic, there have been several exchanges of visits between the two countries, with the aim of increasing bilateral collaboration. Significant progress has also been made in the negotiation and signing of new cooperation agreements.
Cuba will always appreciate the firm position of solidarity that the people and government of South Africa have maintained in support of the fight against the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade that the United States government has imposed on our country for more than 60 years. Following the words of Nelson Mandela: "The sanctions that punish Cubans for having opted for self-determination are contrary to the world order that we want to establish", South Africa has always been by Cuba's side in this, our toughest fight.
Everything we have achieved in these 29 years of bilateral relations has been possible due to the willingness of both States to continue working together, strengthening our ties, in a context of broad and multifaceted mutually beneficial cooperation that undoubtedly still has enormous potential to incorporate new forms of interaction, such as the strengthening of trade and investment relations.