Tag Archives: Cuba

Cuba’s President Diaz-Canel Takes East Asia Solidarity Tour to Laos

Cuba's president Diaz-Carnel in Laos

Geographically distant but with a shared solidarity born of shared experiences of struggles for independence against colonial and imperial domination and sharing similar Marxist-Leninist institutions of state governance, the nations, peoples and ruling parties of Laos and Cuba have long-shared affiliations and affections from afar.

The friendship was celebrated in close quarters over the weekend as new agreements and traditional ties between the two parties, states and peoples of Laos and Cuba were affirmed as the country’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel made a visit to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on Saturday and Sunday.

“The name Cuba, for us, means friend in another sea,” Press Agency Prensa Latina reported the Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit as saying.

After talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement on sports as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Lao and Cuban central banks.

President of Cuba’s Council of State and Council of Ministers, Diaz-Canel is the third to hold the post since the country’s revolution led by its longtime party and state leader Fidel Castro, and is understood to be a front-runner to succeed Raúl Castro as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most important position, at the party congress in 2021.
Diaz-Canel reportedly reaffirmed Cuba’s intention to continue to cooperate and extend further assistance to Laos in fields such as human resource development, sports, and health, with the two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest.

Talks were held with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and President of the Lao National Assembly, Ms Pany Yathotou.

The presidential visit is part of a tour that also sees official visits to Russia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China and Vietnam.

Cuba's President Laid Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Vientiane, Laos.

Wreath laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Vientiane, Laos.

Flags of Laos and Cuba fly over That Luang Esplanade

Flags of Laos and Cuba fly over That Luang Esplanade, Vientiane, Laos

Cuba's president Diaz-Carnel in Laos

Cuba’s president Diaz-Carnel in Laos

Climate, Peace, Development Desires Aired as Laos Meets World at Annual UN Assembly

Mr Saleumxay Kommasith

Between US President Donald J. Trump’s signature America First rhetoric and self-appraisals generating “spontaneous murmurs” and the attendance of New Zealand’s first baby and mum Jacinda Adern, you might be forgiven for missing Laos’ Foreign Minister in the international news reports generated at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly this weekend.

Yet crucial issues of climate change, support for vulnerable communities and countries, sustainable development, peace on the Korean peninsula and beyond and the unilateral imposition of sanctions were among those issues raised by Laos when it had the opportunity to speak directly to the international community.

Laos’ Foreign Minister Saleumxay told the UN General Assembly on Saturday in New York that Laos supported and urged the international community to uphold and further strengthen multilateralism. “This remains one of the core values of our only universal organization, the United Nations,” he said.

Realizing the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at a time of a changing climate requires national governments and the international community to work “hand-in-hand’ with extra thought to the vulnerable, particularly Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. “Against this backdrop, it is more crucial than ever for world leaders to honour the commitments pledged in the Paris Agreement.”

Laos also highlighted the critical importance of peace and security for socio-economic progress in all nations. “Past experiences have shown that settling disputes by peaceful means is the best way to ensure durable peace that is essential for sustainable development of a nation.”

The international community must help build mutual trust and confidence among countries to support them overcome challenges between them and resolve disputes peacefully, he said.

As such, Minister Kommasith welcomed the thawing of relations in the Korean Peninsula and between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States.“We hope that such positive momentum will be strengthened, thereby, contributing to the maintenance of peace and stability, and denuclearization in the region as a whole.”

He also called for the end to the economic blockade of Cuba, given that the enforcement of isolation and sanction measures imposed on any country may not bring about benefits to the international community. “On the contrary, it will cause a loss for all and lead to increasing hostility,” the minister said.

The Lao minister expressed his country’s concern on the continued lack of progress on the Isreal-Palestine front.“We hope that this long overdue issue on Palestine will be resolved by peaceful means in order to achieve a two-state solution where Palestine and Israel can live side by side in peace, security and within internationally recognised borders as stipulated in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions,” Minister Saleumxay said.

Mr Kommasith also underlined the need to address the scourge of transnational crime, at all levels, noting Laos’ commitment with regional countries at the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the international community in the fight against illicit drug trafficking, illegal wildlife trade, human trafficking and other serious crimes.