Meeting with Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko met with Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz in Minsk on 10 November.

"I am happy to welcome the envoy of the Island of Freedom in Belarus. I don't think there is any need to say much to characterize the Belarusian-Cuban relations. We have always maintained warm and friendly relations. You should know that we will continue to adhere to these approaches," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

The head of state noted that at the diplomatic and political level (one can even say at the ideological level) the countries adhere to the same approaches and share similar views. "But you, as a practical person who heads the government, understand perfectly well that the basis of all this is the economy," the President noted. “Preparing for this meeting and studying the entire range of trade and economic relations, I understood that we need to work harder to raise economic and trade cooperation to the level of political relations. There is only one conclusion on my part: trade and economic relations are lagging far behind political and humanitarian ones."

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, some issues have not been resolved for decades. They are being discussed at various levels, but no progress has been made so far. "We need to take stock of our relations and identify the areas in which we will cooperate and solve the problems have remained unaddressed so far," the Belarusian leader said.

“What remains unchanged is that we, as a high-tech country, will keep building relations with Latin America. While doing so, we will rely first and foremost on Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. We are viewing your visit from this standpoint. We really hope that we will be able to significantly intensify our trade and economic relations. We are not happy that our trade slightly exceeds $10 million,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President suggested that Belarus and Cuba use their best endeavors to deepen trade and economic interaction so that it will catch up with the level of political and humanitarian contacts.

In turn, Manuel Marrero Cruz thanked the Belarusian head of state for the opportunity to meet and for the warm welcome for the Cuban delegation. “We appreciate the cordiality that we have felt from the moment we arrived; your warm reception makes us feel at home,” he added.

The prime minister also conveyed greetings to Aleksandr Lukashenko from the leadership of Cuba and personally from President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, who, according to him, cherishes memories of his visit to Minsk in 2019.

“I have listened to you very carefully and I completely agree with what you have said. Your analysis of bilateral trade and economic relations is very accurate. I share your opinion. We are also determined to change this situation,” Manuel Marrero Cruz said.

According to him, the prime ministers of Belarus and Cuba need to undertake comprehensive efforts to improve the situation and flesh out cooperation with specific projects.