By Roger Annis,
Published on A Socialist in Canada, Nov 22, 2022:
The presidents of Russia and Cuba have inaugurated a monument to former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Moscow, reports the Russian news agency TASS.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in an unveiling ceremony in Moscow’s Sokol District as part of the Cuban president’s official visit to Russia, which began on November 20. The two presidents also met formally. The transcript of that exchange is published on the English language website of the Russian president.
The monument is located in Fidel Castro Square in the the Sokol neighbourhood of Moscow. The square was created in 2017 by the Moscow city government. Nearby is Salvador Allende Street.
The monument is a three-meter bronze figure created by sculptor Alexei Chebanenko and architect Andrey Beliy.
The monument project was launched by the Fidel Castro Foundation in Russia, which was founded in April 2021. The initiative has been formally approved by the deputies of the Moscow city government. According to the speaker of the municipal parliament, Alexei Shaposhnikov, Fidel Castro is “a charismatic revolutionary, an exceptional statesman, an inflexible leader”.
Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016. Before his death, he declared he did not wish to have places or monuments in his name. But monuments to the leader of the 1959 Cuban Revolution have appeared in countries including Russia, South Africa and the Dominican Republic. A monument to Fidel Castro was unveiled in Crimea in 2017.
The late Cuban president visited the Soviet Union for 38 days in April-May, 1963. One focus of the trip was to visit regions of the country and see how the Soviet people were living and working.
Following Fidel’s death, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a telegram to then-Cuban president Raul Castro: “Free and independent Cuba, which Fidel Castro and his allies built, became an influential member of the international community and became an inspiring example for many countries and nations. Fidel Castro was a sincere and reliable friend of Russia.”
Vladimir Putin twice met Fidel Castro during official visits to Cuba–in 2000 and in July 2014. The second visit occured after Fidel had retired from the Cuban presidency.
The 2014 visit formally confirmed the agreement whereby the Russian Federation cancelled the debt of $35.5 billion owed by Cuba to Russia dating from the decades of aid and assistance by the Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin explained in an interview with Cuban and Russian media on July 11 that a remaining $3.5 billion debt accrued by Cuba to the Russian Federation “will be spent by Cuba itself on significant investment projects, which Russia is going to select and negotiate together with the Cuban side. These projects are aimed at social and economic development of the Republic. We expect that these investments will prove fruitful.”
He continued, “The history of Latin America’s fight for independence, for the right to decide its own fate deserves great respect. In our country, people know well of the legendary Bolívar and Martí, Che Guevara and Salvador Allende. The Blazing Continent is not only a description of a certain period in Latin America’s past. It is a symbol of striving for a better life, prosperity, progress and social justice.”
* Transcript of initial remarks in Nov. 22 meeting of President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez of Cuba and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, published on the website of the President of Russia, Nov 22, 2022
* The head of Cuba speaks to Russia’s State Duma, says that projects with Russia are not suffering from sanctions, report by RIA Novosti, Nov 21, 2022 (original in Russian here; translation to English by A Socialist In Canada, here in pdf format: The head of Cuba arrives in Moscow, tells State Duma that sanctions are not stopping Russia-Cuba relations)
* Trade and economic relations between Russia and Cuba, report in RIA Novosti, Nov 22, 2022 (original in Russian here; translation to English by A Socialist In Canada, here in pdf format: Trade and economic relations between Russia and Cuba)
EDITOR’S NOTE: We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.