HAVANA – Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a message to Fidel Castro expressing his admiration and respect for the former leader after the 6th Cuban Communist Party Congress, and he offered Havana Beijing’s help on the “road of socialist development.”
In the message, dated April 19 and released on Thursday by official Cuban media, Hu hailed the figure of Fidel Castro as the “founder and promoter of the revolution and construction of Cuba” and praised him for his fearless leadership in the face of “foreign pressure.”
The Chinese president emphasized that Castro had won “the admiration of the peoples of the world” and called him an “eminent revolutionary, ideologue, strategist and statesman.”
He also recalled that after the 1959 triumph of the revolution led by Castro, Cuba the next year became the first country in Latin America to establish diplomatic relations with Communist China.
“At present, both China as well as Cuba find themselves at a crucial phase of development. I’m convinced that, under the direction of comrade Raul Castro Ruz, the socialist revolution and construction of Cuba without any doubt will achieve new successes,” the Chinese president said.
The Cuban party congress, held April 16-19 in Havana, made official the replacement of Fidel by his younger brother Raul as first secretary of the party, formally completing the transfer of powers begun in 2006 when the former leader delegated his duties and posts upon falling seriously ill.
The gathering also ratified the socio-economic reform plan proposed by President Raul Castro to “update” Cuban socialism.
Hu’s message reaffirmed China’s rejection of any foreign intervention in Cuba and its backing of Havana’s exploration of the “road of socialist development that corresponds to its reality,” as well as stating that China would do what it could “within our power” to help the communist island with its socio-economic development. EFE