By SA News
South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is headed to Mexico to consolidate political and economic relations between the two countries.
Deputy President Ramaphosa is on a three-nation visit that saw him visit Sweden and Cuba.
In Cuba, he led a high-level government and business delegation to strengthen bilateral, political, economic and trade relations.
During the visit, Deputy President Ramaphosa paid a courtesy call on President Raul Castro and held bilateral discussions with Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel.
Deputy President Ramaphosa reiterated South Africa’s support for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States of America and called for an end to the blockade against Cuba and the removal of all punitive measures that have been directed against the Cuban people.
Outlining the objectives of the visit to Cuba, Deputy President Ramaphosa said South Africa was keen to hear about the process that Cuba initiated to meet the challenges of the 21st century, particularly since the 2008 global financial crisis and the decline of commodity prices, which have brought economic hardship to many developing countries.
Deputy President Ramaphosa said Cuba has not only “contributed to our freedom by supporting our struggle and fighting side by side with us, but you continue to improve the lives of our people by training doctors and providing scholarships for over 80 students annually to study medicine in Cuba.
“Apart from doctors, Cuba has provided 45 engineers deployed in four provinces in collaboration with the Department of Human Settlements. Our Department of Water and Sanitation also has 35 Cuban engineers deployed across the country,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa.
He also used the opportunity to pay his respects at the Jose Marti Monument at the Plaza de la Revolucion and the Oliver Tambo Bust at the Park for African heroes.
He also had an occasion to interact with the management of the Latin American School of Medicine where a number of South African students are being trained to become doctors.
In addition, Deputy President Ramaphosa visited the Cuban Combined Cycle Gas Plant to study how Cubans cope with energy challenges as well as the Cuban Molecular Immunology Centre including the local Policlinic and the Military Historical Park Morro in Havana.
Deputy President Ramaphosa is being supported by the Deputy Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation Luwellyn Landers, Trade and Industry Mzwandile Masina, Water and Sanitation Pam Tshwete, Basic Education Enver Surty and Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela.