MINSK.— The First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, arrived at Minsk airport this Sunday, May 22, to begin an official visit to Belarus.

Díaz-Canel and his accompanying delegation were welcomed at the airport by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Evgeny Shestakov, Foreign Ministry Director of Latin America, Pavel Pustovoy, and the Cuban Ambassador in Minsk, Gerardo Suárez


Speaking with Deputy Minister Shestakov, the First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers expressed his gratitude for the continued support of Belarus for the island’s demand that the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade be lifted.

He noted that very good prospects for cooperation between the two countries are opening up, in areas such as transport, agriculture, science and innovation, and in particular in the biotech industry, corresponding to the objectives recently outlined at the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Díaz-Canel reiterated Cuba’s condemnation of the expansion of NATO, a strategy considered a threat to Belarus and Russia.

He also highlighted the contribution of Belarus to peace, particularly in the efforts for a negotiated solution to the conflict in Ukraine, with the Contact Group agreements reached in Minsk.

We appreciate that Belarus is an observer member of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), and we hope that at the next meeting of the integrationist structure, to be held in our country, you are there with us, Díaz-Canel stressed.

Similarly, he welcomed the presence of Belarus as an observer member of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

After recalling that thousands of Cubans studied at Belarusian universities during the Soviet Union, Díaz-Canel expressed thanks for the welcome he and his delegation had enjoyed and the intense program of scheduled activities, which will allow them to learn more about the central European country during a visit of just two days.

For his part, Shestakov stressed that an example of the high level of interest of his country regarding this visit will be the various meetings the Cuban leader will hold with the highest state, government and legislative authorities.

He stressed that Minsk eagerly awaits the next meeting of the ACS in Cuba, and said he was pleased to be leading the delegation that would attend the forum, and also include the Director of Latin America at the Foreign Ministry, Pavel Pustovoy.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs concluded that Díaz-Canel and his accompanying delegation would have an opportunity to discuss important bilateral cooperation issues and the international agenda, during a meeting with the Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko.