Cuba and South Africa sign Cultural Cooperation Agreement

Ambassador Rodolfo Benitez Verson of Cuba and Minister Nathi Mthetwa signing the agreement

10 June 2021

As part of the celebrations of the 27th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Cuba, the South African Minister of Sport, Art and Culture Nathi Mthetwa and the Cuban Ambassador to South Africa, Rodolfo Benítez Verson, signed an Intergovernmental Agreement for Cooperation and Cultural Exchange between both countries.

The implementation of the agreement will allow increasing and consolidating cultural cooperation between Cuba and South Africa, through the organization in both countries of cultural workshops, music and film festivals, as well as artistic events of folk and contemporary dance, classical ballet, painting, and sculpture, among other modalities.

The exchange of artists and specialists in performing arts, plastic arts, cultural heritage, literature and theater will also be expanded.
The signed document is a reflection of the excellent state of bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation and of the will of both governments to continue strengthening and diversifying them.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Mthetwa described the special relations between the two nations as true brotherhood, and thanked Cuba for its decisive contribution to the defeat of the Apartheid regime after the victory in the epic battle of Cuito Cuanavale.

He also ratified South Africa's firm support for the resolution against the blockade imposed by the United States government against Cuba for more than 60 years, which will be voted on by the United Nations General Assembly on June 23.

"We, the people of South Africa and the world, will unite to condemn this unilateral blockade that has brought incalculable humanitarian and economic difficulties to the people of Cuba," said the South African Minister.

Additionally, he congratulated the people of Cuba for the successful celebration of the VIII Congress of the Communist Party, and thanked the Island for the generous medical help offered to South Africa for the fight against the COVID-19.

For his part, the Cuban Ambassador emphasized the practical importance and symbolic value of the new agreement, because Africa is an inseparable part of Cuban culture. He highlighted the strong African influence in all manifestations of Cuban culture: plastic arts, music, dance, literature, musical instruments, the Spanish spoken in Cuba, food, religiosity, in short, in the way of being Cuban.

"The deep relations between Cuba and South Africa, and the significant Cuban internationalist presence on the African continent, cannot be understood in their real magnitude," said the Cuban diplomat - without a full awareness of our deep cultural relationship with Africa and the fact that our country is an inseparable part of the African Diaspora. This explains why the Cuban people consider it a moral duty to contribute as much as possible to the development and prosperity of this continent, the land of our ancestors. ”

Embassy of Cuba in South Africa