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nternational relations: Stronger defence relations with Cuba

International relations
Stronger defence relations with Cuba

South Africa and Cuba have strengthened cooperation in defence by signing a memorandum of understanding.

Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Cuban Vice-President of the Council of Ministers Ulises Rosales del Toro signed the Agreement on Defence Cooperation in Pretoria.

“Cooperation in areas such as military veterans, defence industries, military health, training and exchange programmes are particularly important. We must follow these areas of cooperation with the enthusiasm it deserves,” Sisulu said.

South Africa could also learn from Cuba about its citizen force. “Furthermore, it is important for us to learn from you about the citizen force, which will make our people responsible during any human disaster at any given time,” she added.

Sisulu said South African youth could learn from the Cuban value system, characterised by a deep sense of patriotism, culture and work ethic.

“We can learn a great deal from the armed forces of Cuba and I believe that Cuba can contribute and share its expertise with our defence force to benefit South Africa, the region and the continent.”

She noted the long-standing relationship South Africans shares with Cuba, adding that Cubans have supported us in the fight against apartheid.

Del Toro said the agreement would help both countries prepare for the future at a time of new weapons, strategic thinking and methods of fighting.