Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz and Army General Raul Castro Ruz, on official visits to the Democratic Republic of Korea, held talks with North Korean leader Kim Il Sung; and President Miguel Díaz-Canel was received by Kim Jong-Un. Photo: Courtesy of the Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
“We have been able to see the Korea of the liberated workers, of the sovereign and dignified people, of the creative scientists, of the happy children, the Korea of socialism,” said the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, on March 11, 1986, during his visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, where he held friendly talks with the leader, Kim Il Sung.
Twenty-six years had passed since the two nations established diplomatic and collaborative relations on August 29, 1960.
In the course of these six decades that we celebrate today, much friendship has been built up between the two peoples, parties and governments.
Fidel praised the Korean people for their “tenacity and steadfastness, which under the leadership of Comrade Kim Il Sung transformed the heroism of war into the no less important heroism of self-sacrificing, disciplined and everyday work, from which developed industry, impressive construction effort and modern and efficient agriculture have emerged.
The reciprocal collaboration, the coincidence in international affairs, the invariable North Korean position of support for Cuba and of condemnation of the blockade that the United States has maintained against the Island for more than six decades, constitute part of a heritage of dignity and value between both nations.
Cuba has always advocated and worked for peace in the Korean peninsula to be a permanent objective, not only for that region of the world, but for all countries.
During his participation in the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, in New York, on September 26, 2018, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said: “We welcome the inter-Korean rapprochement and dialogue process, which is the way to achieve lasting peace, reconciliation and stability in the Korean Peninsula. At the same time, we strongly condemn the imposition of unilateral and unjust sanctions against the DPRK and foreign interference in Korean affairs,” he said.
This has always been stated in international forums, as well as in the numerous official visits of Cuban leaders to the Asian nation, initiated by Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, who was the object of a great reception by the people on December 3, 1960 and received the embrace of leader Kim Il-Sung.
In 1966, then President Osvaldo Dorticós and Commander Raúl Castro, Minister of the Farces, visiting Pyongyang, in addition to carrying the message of greetings and admiration for the people and the leadership of the Asian nation, received the affection of their hosts.
More recently, in 2018, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel was received in Pyongyang by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in the midst of a multitudinous concentration of people that added up to more than a million people along the route covered by the two dignitaries.
The major media of the Asian nation highlighted in their headlines the “invincible friendship and unity” of the two states.
“This is a historic event that powerfully demonstrates the invincible friendship between the two countries, and the comradeship of two peoples who are advancing shoulder to shoulder in their joint struggle against the policy of aggression of the imperialists, and who are fighting for peace and for the victory of the socialist cause,” reads the editorial of that day in the official newspaper of the North Korean Workers Party, Rodong Sinmun, accompanied by a biography of Diaz-Canel.
For its part, the KCNA agency reports that “The (North Korean) Party has as its established policy to promote the traditional relations of cooperation and friendship with the Cuban people, which have been consolidated over centuries and generations, as this new era requires.
In a Reflection by Fidel (The Two Koreas Part II), on July 24, 2008, the Commander in Chief writes: “When I arrived on March 7, 1986 in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, almost 33 years after the destruction left by the war, it was difficult to believe what happened there. That heroic people had built countless works: large and small dams and canals to accumulate water, produce electricity, supply cities and irrigate fields; thermoelectric plants, major mechanical and other industries, many of them underground, nestled deep in the rocks through hard and methodical work. Due to the lack of copper and aluminum, they were forced to use even iron in lines of work.