The meetings between the vicious and violent Cuban dictator Raul Castro and his counterparts in the brutally repressive Chinese dictatorship is sure to speed along all those wonderful and magnanimous “reforms” we keep hearing about that will usher in new freedoms and democracy on the island. Not.
Cuba’s Castro set to meet China’s leaders
BEIJING — Cuban President Raul Castro begins talks with China’s leaders on Thursday during which he is expected to win backing from his country’s longtime ally in helping to implement historic economic reforms.
Castro will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing on Thursday afternoon, after which the two sides are scheduled to sign a series of agreements that analysts said may focus on trade and infrastructure.
He is then slated to meet China’s two leaders-in-waiting, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, on Friday, helping to deepen personal ties with the men widely expected to assume the Chinese presidency and premiership.
“Cuba and China have been working together for years,” said Xu Shicheng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and expert on Latin America.
“With this visit they will be able to further strengthen their relations and promote cooperation in areas such as… construction of highways and railways, developing maritime ports and prospecting for oil, as well as in agriculture.”
Castro’s four-day visit to China, which began in low-key fashion Wednesday with no official meetings, follows a trip to Havana last year by Xi when the two sides signed 10 deals aimed at supporting Cuba’s economic reforms.
The agreements included a new line of credit and financial aid to help modernise the Cuban public health system, official media in Havana reported at the time, although no figures were announced.
The countries’ close relationship dates back to 1960, when Cuba became the first government to establish diplomatic ties with communist China.
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