EFE (via 14ymedio), Beijing, 8 November 2023 — The Prime Minister of Cuba, Manuel Marrero Cruz, expressed his interest in establishing direct flights between Beijing and Havana, a measure aimed at facilitating trade and business between both nations. “I wish we could launch a direct flight tomorrow. But unfortunately we still don’t have a clear schedule. But I think it could start next year,” Marrero said in statements made on Tuesday during a business forum in Beijing.
This proposal arises as economic and commercial cooperation between China and Cuba intensifies, generating a growing demand for direct flights, said Marrero, according to the official newspaper Global Times.
The Cuban leader also emphasized the importance of attracting foreign investment and improving autonomy in food production
The Cuban leader also emphasized the importance of attracting foreign investment and improving autonomy in food production. In addition, he stated that Cuba is working on the transformation of its energy system, including wind and solar energy projects, and on the digitization of Cuban television in collaboration with the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
Regarding his meeting on Monday with the president of China, Xi Jinping, Marrero stressed the “special relationship of unbreakable friendship” between the Island and the Asian giant and the progressive growth of these ties.
In turn, the Cuban prime minister expressed his gratitude for China’s continued support and reiterated his opposition to the United States embargo.
“I can guarantee, and I can say with confidence, that without a blockade, Cuba would be a country that would have achieved a lot in economic development,” Marrero said. This is Marrero’s first visit to China since he was appointed prime minister in 2019.
The Cuban leader began his official trip to China in the megalopolis of Shanghai (east), where he attended the VI International Import Exhibition of China this weekend and met with his Chinese counterpart, Li Qiang.
After his stay in China, Marrero is expected to travel to Belarus, where he will remain until November 12, according to the Cuban Foreign Ministry
The Prime Minister’s visit follows that made by the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, in November last year, in which Xi told his Cuban counterpart that China “will do everything possible to provide support” to Cubans in the face of the “great challenges” they face.
Cuba has been in one of its worst crises for several years due to, among other factors, the inefficiency of its centralized economic system, translated into shortages of fuel, food, medicines and other basic products.
Cuba and China, with diplomatic ties since 1960, maintain close political, economic and commercial relations, and the China stands out as one of the main allies of the communist Island.
After his stay in China, Marrero is expected to travel to Belarus, where he will remain until November 12, according to the Cuban Foreign Ministry.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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