By Bridget Anderson
Both countries have mobilised the whole of their societies to defeat Covid19. Driven by a goal of eliminating the virus entirely, both Cuba and China have prioritised saving lives and public health – a stark contrast to the neo-liberal “herd immunity” strategy being pursued in Britain, the US and neo-liberal countries in Latin America which prioritise protecting profits over saving lives.
In addition to helping each other, both Cuba and China have led the way in showing the kind of internationalism, solidarity and cooperation that is required for humanity to defeat the coronavirus. Cuba has sent more than 2,000 medics to 23 countries across the world to fight the pandemic. China has sent vast amounts medical supplies to countries across the world, offered assistance to 82 countries and has pledged to provide $2bn to the World Health Organisation over the next two years.
As the article in Granma states, Cuba and China have a “deep friendship” that has “stood the test of time.”
The close links between Cuba and China was clearly expressed by China’s President Xi Jinping on the death of Fidel Castro in 2016. In a televised speech China’s President Xi Jinping said “comrade Castro will live forever.” Xi Jinping personally visited Cuba’s Embassy to show his respect for Fidel – the only foreign leader for whom Xi has done this.
Fidel Castro expressed his admiration of the achievements of Chinese socialism in an interview in 1994. He said:
“If you want to talk about socialism, let us not forget what socialism achieved in China. At one time it was the land of hunger, poverty, disasters. Today there is none of that. Today China can feed, dress, educate, and care for the health of 1.2 billion people. I think China is a socialist country, and Vietnam is a socialist nation as well. And they insist that they have introduced all the necessary reforms in order to motivate national development and to continue seeking the objectives of socialism.”
Cuba is a small country in population but has for decades had an impact far out of proportion to its numbers not only because of its domestic achievements (with a longer life expectancy than the US!) but because of its inspiring history of internationalism – playing a decisive military role in supporting the people of South Africa in defeating apartheid, in extending medical support to Latin American countries, and now in the fight against Covid19. China today has, in real exchange rate adjusted terms, the world’s largest economy and a manufacturing capacity, including for medical equipment and renewable energy, which is not remotely matched by any other country. Cuba and China’s cooperation is therefore a powerful force to aid in the fight against Covid19 and for numerous international struggles. Socialists in every country should therefore relate very positively to this powerful combined force for human progress.
The article below discusses the mutual solidarity between Cuba and China during the coronavirus pandemic. It was first published on Granma on 28 May 2020.
Cuba and China: A solid bond of mutual solidarity
The historical ties between the Communist Parties, governments and peoples of Cuba and China, celebrating the 60th anniversary diplomatic relations this year, have stood the test of time, supported by the deep friendship that sustains them
Published on Granma, 28 May 2020
Ángel Freddy Pérez Cabrera
The historical ties between the Communist Parties, governments and peoples of Cuba and China, celebrating the 60th anniversary diplomatic relations this year, have stood the test of time, supported by the deep friendship that sustains them.
The solidarity shared by the two nations during the current pandemic was recognized in a conversation between President Miguel Díaz-Canel and his counterpart Xi Jinping last February, when they exchanged views on the subject and discussed ways to further promote bilateral relations.
During that dialogue, Xi noted that after the initial outbreak of COVID-19, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, and Diaz-Canel, immediately expressed their solidarity, while the President made a special visit to the Chinese embassy on the island to confirm Cuba’s support.
More recently, the sister nation sent donations for our public health system, while Cuba has shared our positive experiences in the COVID battle to Chinese.
A meeting this week between the Cuban ambassador in China, Carlos Miguel Pereira, and authorities of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, reaffirmed were the historic ties and mutual support maintained by the two political organizations in the fight against the new coronavirus, while the intention to work together to overcome the pandemic, through the exchange of experiences, was reiterated.