Havana, 22 July 2022 (TDI): Deputy Minister of Cuba Gerardo Peñalver Portal met with the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Alvin Botes.

They chaired the XVI Session of the Inter-Ministerial Political Consultation Mechanism, held in Havana, on July 21.

Agenda of the Meeting

During the meeting, both sides highlighted the historical ties that unite South Africa and Cuba. Ministers expressed willingness to continue working together to strengthen political dialogue, economic-commercial exchange, and cooperation.

They also discussed issues of the multilateral and regional agenda of common interest between the two countries.

Peñalver thanked Botes for supporting the Cuban people’s battle to lift the economic and financial blockade. The South African representative also acknowledged Cuba’s contribution to the development of his country and Africa.

The South African delegation also included Ambassador Nkwenkwezi Phosa and Mzolilzwa Bona, Chief Director for Latin America and the Caribbean region.

From Cuban side, Emilio Lozada García, Director General of Bilateral Affairs, Luis Alberto Amorós Núñez, Director of Sub-Saharan Africa participated.

Minister Botes will also hold meetings with several Cuban Ministries and institutions in the areas of Agriculture, Education, Foreign Trade, and Sports.

South Africa-Cuba relations

South Africa formally established diplomatic relations with Cuba on 11 May 1994, the day after President Mandela’s inauguration.

Cuba was the first country formally recognized by the new South African government. It was apparent from the start that South Africa was going to promote a warm relationship between the two countries.

Cuba has an embassy in Pretoria, and South Africa has an embassy in Havana. Since the end of apartheid, the South African government has sought to extend significant support to the Cuban government.

It includes loans, payment for technical exchanges, and advocacy support to end the US embargo against Cuba.

Cuba and South Africa have cordial diplomatic relations with each other, and both states aim to enhance their diplomatic engagements.