South Africa Honours Fidel Castro and Che Guevara

ACN | Tuesday, 24 May 2016 | Click here for original article

Dr Phophi Ramathuba, South African Health Minister, unveiling the Dr Ernesto

Dr Phophi Ramathuba, South African Health Minister, unveiling the Dr Ernesto "Che" Guevara House

HAVANA, Cuba, May 23 (acn) Two buildings belonging to the Health Department in the South African province of Limpopo will have the names of the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro and the legendary guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara.

The initiative of the South African government was made in the context of the official visit of Cuba's First Deputy Minister Marcelino Medina, reported Prensa Latina News Agency.

South African Health Minister, Dr. Phophi Ramathuba expressed that this "is a permanent reminder of Fidel's struggle in favour of South Africa".

She added that a "building that was named after Fidel is a way of defining our policy" in what we want to achieve regarding health assistance.

The official emphasized her aspiration that human values that personified Che Guevara as a doctor and revolutionary is reflected in the daily work of the health professionals.

The Health Minister, who was moved when recalling two decades of the beginning of Cuba's cooperation with South Africa, explained that currently there are 56 Cuban specialists in the rural areas of Limpopo.

She said that one of the major impacts of this cooperation is observing how children of the country's poorest families are graduating as physicians thanks to Cuba's assistance.

Ramathuba requested "for Cuba to help us eradicate the colonialism of illnesses as it did in the fight against apartheid".

Within its immediate plans, Limpopo is constructing a school of medicine, said the Minister.

Meanwhile, the Cuban First Deputy Foreign Minister reiterated that Cuba will always offer its solidarity as an obligation to humanity.

He said that Cuba always had a debt to Africa. The Cuban official added that South Africa "is a priority for the island due to what it represents to the world and the continent" and referred to the special relationship that united Fidel and Madiba (Nelson Mandela).

Medina was welcomed by Ramathuba and the Minister of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure Jeremia Ndou.

Medina was accompanied by the Cuban ambassador to South Africa Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, Consul Ivan Ferrer and Meylin Suarez, official of the Foreign Minister.

The Cuban First Deputy Foreign Minister met on Sunday with the South African International and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane who reiterated her country's decision to continue alongside Cuba in the fight against the US economic blockade.

Medina traveled on Friday to Pretoria to assist the 13th session of the Cuba-South Africa Mechanism and Consultation policies scheduled for Tuesday.

The Cuban delegation's visit to South Africa on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the beginning of bilateral cooperation marked by the arrival of the first group of Cuban doctors in February of 1996.

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