Political Prisoners of the Empire  MIAMI 5     



Havana.  March 19, 2014

President of Chile receives Cuban
Vice President Díaz-Canel also pays his
respects to Salvador Allende and
Gladys Marín

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on March 11 received Cuba’s First Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who led the country’s delegation to the inaugural ceremony during which Bachelet assumed the presidency.

During the positive encounter, Díaz-Canel conveyed greetings from President Raúl Castro and expressed Cuba’s willingness to renew and expand relations with Chile, not only on the diplomatic level, but in the areas of economy, trade and cooperation.

The Chilean President acknowledged the important role played by Cuba in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and reaffirmed her commitment to strengthening relations between the two countries.

In a statement to Prensa Latina, Díaz-Canel said that he traveled to Chile with the intention of improving ties with the South American country and described his meeting with the new President as warm and amiable.

He commented that the two leaders analyzed all the opportunities which exist for strengthening political relations, as well as cooperative, economic, and commercial ties.

He expressed the opinion that there is great potential for a closer relationship based on several collaborative programs which were approved in 2009 during Bachelet’s previous administration, affirming that these provide ample opportunity to move forward and develop stronger ties.

He commented that the historic ties between the two peoples are long-standing, going back to the friendship between Allende and Fidel, which will always be a reference point, he said.

Díaz-Canel also referred to the commitment made by Bachelet during the recent CELAC Summit in Havana, in which she emphasized working together for Latin American integration.

He also took the opportunity to thank Raúl Benítez, regional director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization for his recognition of Cuba. Díaz-Canel reported that the Cuban delegation had visited the organization’s headquarters in Santiago de Chile where the director praised Cuba’s efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. He reiterated the country’s commitment to this struggle.

The Vice President likewise held a meeting with Alicia Bárcena, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) and her staff.

Díaz-Canel reported that during his short visit to Chile, he additionally met with representatives of several organizations promoting solidarity with Cuba and freedom for the Cuban Five. He expressed the country’s gratitude for these efforts and his desire to strengthen ties with these groups.

He spoke about the case of the five Cuban anti-terrorists unjustly imprisoned in the United States. Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero continue to serve long sentences, while Fernando González and René González have returned to Cuba after completing theirs in full, 17 and 15 years, respectively.

During his stay, Díaz-Canel paid his respects to deceased President Salvador Allende and long-time Communist Party leader Gladys Marín at Santiago de Chile’s main cemetery.

"Two great friends of Cuba, two unforgettable personalities … We cannot overlook this tribute which enriches the strong ties between our peoples," Díaz Canel concluded. (Granma International news staff)

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