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Addis Ababa, Jan 30 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Vice President Salvador Valdes Mesa has reiterated today his unflagging friendship and solidarity with Africa, after speaking to the plenary session of heads of State and Government during the 28th Summit of the African Union (AU).

The celebration of this great event offers Cuba the opportunity to address to the leaders of this brother continent and convey them a fraternal message, Mesa said.

We feel a part of Africa, because of the common history shared since the slave trade, which led to the birth of our nationality. The Africans or their descendants have fostered from the ranks of the Cuban Liberation Army during the independence campaigns of the 19th century, he added.

The member of the Cuban Communist Party’s Political Bureau stated that after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, the Caribbean nation assumed the cause of independence and self-determination in Africa, and offered its modest and unconditional collaboration for the sake of the emancipation of this great continent.

The thought and action by the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, decisively contributed to that internationalist and solidarity vocation of the Cuban people, he added.

Valdes Mesa thanked, on behalf of the Cuban authorities and people, the ‘sincere and massive demonstrations of solidarity received from our African brothers and sisters during this difficult event,’ and especially acknowledged the Heads of State and Government and the delegations attending the summit for the tributes to Fidel in Havana and Santiago de Cuba.

Valdes Mesa leads the island’s delegation to the AU summit. Gerardo Peñalver, General Director of Bilateral Affairs at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Angel Villa, Sub-Saharan Africa director at the same ministry accompanied him.

Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, and Juan Manuel Rodriguez Vazquez, ambassador of the Caribbean nation to this capital, are also members of the delegation.

Idris Deby, President of the Republic of Chad and acting president of AU; Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of UN; and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, president of AU Commission; also attended the opening ceremony of the Summit.

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