The Embassy of Cuba in Pretoria celebrated the 65th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on December 13, 2023. H.E. Mr. Enrique Orta Gonzalez warmly welcomed guests to his residence and expressed gratitude for their attendance. Notable acknowledgments were extended to members of the Diplomatic Corp, Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, Youth & Persons with Disabilities, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 1st Deputy Secretary-General of the ANC, Ms. Nomvula Mokonyane, and Director-General of the Department of Tourism, Mr. Victor Tharage.

H.E. Mr. Orta Gonzalez paid tribute to those who bravely fell during the Cuban Revolution, led by Fidel Castro—a leader who helped transform dreams into realities and taught how to overcome adversity. Resilience has been the key to each of Cuba’s victories, and solidarity has been one of the bastions of the Cuban Revolution. As such, Cuba reaffirms its unwavering friendship with the brotherly government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

High-quality healthcare is provided free of charge to all Cubans. Life expectancy, which used to be 59 years before the Revolution, is now 80 years of age. Cuba boasts the highest number of medical doctors per capita in the world, with 1 doctor per 137 people. According to the World Bank, Cuba is the country that spends the highest GDP per person on education. The entire Cuban population receives totally free, high-quality education at all levels, including university, as stipulated in the Cuban constitution. Thousands of young South Africans have also been professionally trained in the Caribbean nation.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Tharage highlighted that political dialogue has been maintained at the highest levels between Cuba and South Africa. With the growth of economic and commercial exchange, the flow of delegation maintains its direction. In almost 30 years of bilateral relations, many leader instruments have been signed. During all these years, bilateral cooperation has been systematically maintained and expanded in various spheres, including education and agriculture.

The Cuban Revolution has been a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people. The relationship between South Africa and Cuba was formalized on May 11, 1994.

“Bound by ties of shared struggles, culture, solidarity, and a joint commitment to advance the development agenda.”

The solid strategic partnership and bilateral cooperation between the two countries continue to serve as an exemplary model of South-South cooperation. South Africa commended the Cuban President, Mr. Miguel Diaz-Canel, on attendance at the BRICS summit in August in his capacity as the Chairman of the Group of 77 and China, which has made positive contributions to strengthening the solidarity of developing countries.

Raising a glass and toasting on behalf of the South African government and its people:

“Good health to the President of Cuba and a better future for the government and people of Cuba.”

by Marion Kate