Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero met with genocidal dictator Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday, seeking to expand cooperation between the two communist dictatorships to “a higher level.”
Marrero, a top Cuban Politburo official with the ruling Communist Party, met with Xi as part of a weeklong tour of China expected to culminate on November 9, his first official visit to the Asian nation since he took office in December 2019. Marrero’s international tour will see him depart for Belarus later in the week, where he will stay until November 12.
The Cuban Prime Minister’s Chinese tour occurs nearly one year after the Castro regime’s figurehead, President Miguel Díaz-Canel, met with Xi in late November 2022 on a similar visit. China is both Cuba’s largest trading partner and one of the ailing communist regime’s crucial financial lifelines that ensures its continued existence.
At the time of Xi and Díaz-Canel’s encounter in Beijing, China issued a 700 million Chinese Yuan ($100 million) “donation” to the communist Castro regime that was formalized in January. Neither regime has publicly disclosed what the “donation” was used for.
In Monday’s meeting with Marrero, Xi reportedly stated that China and Cuba are “good friends, good comrades and good brothers” who have advanced together in the “construction of socialism” and have supported each other in “issues related to their vital interests.”
Xi continued by affirming that China is developing special friendly relations with Cuba from a “strategic and global perspective,” reiterating his support to the Castro regime to “resist external interference and blockade” and “defend their sovereignty and national dignity.”
Marrero reportedly responded to Xi’s statements by expressing his admiration for China’s “great achievements” and his admiration for the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CCP), thanking China for its help in “overcoming difficulties and developing socialism,” and expressing his “willingness to strengthen unity and cooperation.”
Marrero also expressed his willingness to coordinate with Beijing in “international and regional affairs,” “opposing hegemonism and intimidation,” and “defending international justice.”
Prior to his meeting with Xi, Marrero met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, who described Cuba and China’s relations as a “strategic choice in line with the fundamental interests of both countries” following a consensus reached between Xi and Díaz-Canel.
“China, as always, will firmly support Cuba in socialist construction and in its opposition to interference,” Li assured, noting the “strong and lasting special friendship” between the two Communist Party-ruled countries.
Marrero and Li signed a series of undisclosed bilateral cooperation agreements addressing transportation, biotechnology, agriculture, and digital television. The Cuban prime minister asserted that China is willing to work with Cuba to expand mutually beneficial collaboration and translate high-level relations into more tangible results using China’s predatory Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) debt trap program as a guide. Cuba has been a member of BRI since 2021, when the island nation joined the program through its energy branch.
Marrero made calls for deepening Cuba and China’s cooperation in various fields within the BRI framework and promoting the “continued development of relations between China and Caribbean countries”:
Sostuve fraternal encuentro con Li Qiang, primer ministro de la República Popular #China. Ratificamos la disposición de ampliar las relaciones bilaterales en sectores de interés común y promover la cooperación del gigante asiático con otros países de Latinoamérica y el Caribe. pic.twitter.com/aBJEr735bm
— Manuel Marrero Cruz (@MMarreroCruz) November 4, 2023
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin stated that both countries “are good friends walking together and good comrades with common goals.”
“China is willing to work together with Cuba to seize this visit as an opportunity to deepen the special friendly relations between China and Cuba in the new era and jointly build a China-Cuba community with a shared future,” Wang said following Marrero and Li’s meeting.
As part of his official agenda, Marrero represented the communist Castro regime in the sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in Shanghai over the weekend. The Cuban prime minister also held meetings with members of the Chinese Communist Party’s Political Bureau in Hangzhou.
In June, a report published by the Wall Street Journal claimed that both communist regimes were discussing plans to build a Chinese spy base on Cuban soil, presenting a national security challenge to the United States given Cuba’s 90-mile proximity to U.S. territory.
Both China and Cuba denied the report’s claims, with the White House initially describing the report as “not accurate,” claiming that the base had already been there since 2019. Another report published by the Miami Herald in July claims that according to a retired American intelligence official, China has been using Cuba to carry out espionage activities since at least 1992.
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.