Putin, Cuban president unveil monument to Fidel Castro in Moscow

MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel unveiled a monument to Fidel Castro in Moscow in a ceremony on Tuesday.

Work on the bronze-made three-meter-monument lasted for six months and took place in the Russian capital. Castro is depicted seated on a rock with a stylized map of Cuba inscribed on it. The image is supposed to reflect the heroic path of a person who stood up for the rights and freedoms of the Cuban people according to the Kremlin’s press service fact sheet for the event. The monument was erected on Moscow’s square named in honor of Castro.

The initiative to erect a monument to Fidel Castro came from the leadership of the Russian Defense Ministry. The idea was supported by the Russian Military-Historical Society which held a closed artistic contest with 11 works participating.

During the unveiling ceremony of the monument to Fidel Castro in Moscow, which was attended by visiting Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the Russian president said that the friendship between their countries is the shared heritage of the two nations.

“Jointly, we will continue to strengthen our union and defend the great values of freedom, equality and justice,” Putin said.

“I remember hours-long conversations with him, especially our last one in July 2014. He spoke about things amazingly in sync with the times, the time of the emergence of a multipolar world,” Putin said. “[He said] that each nation has the right to freely develop, to choose its path and that there can be no room for dictatorship, plunder and neocolonialism is a really fair world.”

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New generations of Cubans who hold state and government positions in the country are committed to continuing friendship with Russia, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said.

“Today, before you we reaffirm that the new generations of Cubans who consistently and orderly hold state and government positions in the country are committed to continued friendship and solidarity with Russia. I can tell you on behalf of the Cuban people and government of our loyalty to Raul and Fidel’s covenant of friendship, which they have been building with the USSR and then with the Russian Federation over so many years. The ties that unite Russia and Cuba are unbreakable,” Diaz-Canel said at the unveiling of the monument.

Diaz-Canel noted that Castro had always had warm relations with the Soviet and Russian leaders, admired Russian cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova and Yury Gagarin, the moral courage of the Soviet people during World War II, and valued Russia’s role in global politics. He called the Castro statue a tribute to the friendship between the two countries.

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