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Cuban leader Diaz-Canel visits Putin, Russian officials in Moscow

By Renzo Pipoli
Cuban leader Diaz-Canel visits Putin, Russian officials in Moscow
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow Friday. Photo courtesy the Kremlin

Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel met Friday in Moscow as both countries sought to renew old ties and review their "strategic partnership in various spheres," the Kremlin said.

"Cuba and Russia are united by friendship, respect and mutual support," Diaz-Canel said on Twitter.

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Hours earlier, he saluted his arrival to what he called "a nation of intimate links with Cuba."

"We will never forget that its people were the first to help us defend ourselves from the blockade."

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State-run news agency TASS reported Putin said there's an unchanged solidarity between Russian and Cuban people in the fight for ending the United States' economic, trade and financial blockade, which has been in place for nearly 60 years.

The agenda Friday included work to help modernize over 600 miles of railways, as well as "defense cooperation".

Russia may provide a $43 million credit to Cuba in the military technical cooperation line, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said.

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Diaz-Canel also met with other high-ranking Russian officials, including the heads of the upper house of Russian Parliament and the prime minister.

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In April, Diaz-Canel replaced Raul Castro, who was in the post for a decade and remains as head of the Cuba's Communist Party.

After the Cuban revolution of 1959, in which Raul's brother Fidel Castro led a guerrilla group that took over the Havana government, U.S. relations deteriorated when Washington imposed a trade embargo that remains to this day.

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Cuba was heavily dependent on military and economic support of the Soviet Union until the bloc disolved in 1991.

Putin was invited to make a visit Cuba next year, TASS reported.

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