Comrade First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, Army General Raul Castro Ruz,
Comrade Lazo,
Comrade Rodriguez,
Dr Eusebio Leal,
Colleague Foreign Minister of the Republic of The Gambia Mamadou Tangara,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour and privilege for me to visit the National Capitol building, which was designed by architects from Havana, Evelio Govantes and Félix Cabarrocas. This building is highly symbolic for the Cuban statehood and the people of Cuba, embodying the continuity of eras and generations. It is here that the tomb of an unknown independence fighter who fought for the freedom of his homeland is located, a sacred place for every Cuban. It is the seat of Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power, which seeks effective solutions for ensuring the steady advancement of Cuba’s socioeconomic development.

I am truly delighted to have the opportunity to take part in the unveiling in this historic building of the Statue of the Republic, which was restored by Russia experts. This is a truly unique monument that was sculpted by Italian artist Angelo Zanelli and has remained the country’s symbol for 90 years since it was installed in the Capitol on May 20, 1929.

We are proud that Russian craftswomen were trusted with wrapping this statue in golden clothes, in close cooperation with the marvellous team of Doctor Eusebio Leal, a historian of Havana.

We hope that the people of Cuba and foreign guests will appreciate the work carried out by the Russian restoration artists, and I am glad to see them in the audience today.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Cuba is Russia’s true friend and reliable strategic partner. Our relations have endured the test of time and continue to gather momentum in all areas. The success of this joint initiative is yet another example of cultural cooperation between Russia and Cuba and a clear illustration of the feelings of mutual sympathy, support and friendship that connect us.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation