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Castro biography explores significance of China-Cuba ties

Reporter: Su Yuting 丨 CCTV.com

11-28-2016 06:23 BJT

A Chinese version of a two-volume biography of Fidel Castro gives Chinese people a chance to understand more about the Cuban revolutionary leader.

“Fidel Castro Ruz: Time Warrior” was written by Cuban journalist Katiuska Blanco after numerous interviews with the Cuban leader.

Xu Shicheng, an expert on Cuba at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences translated the book into Chinese. He says the biography reflects Castro’s ideas and revolutionary thinking. It also covers important moments of Castro’s life from childhood until December 1958, the eve of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.

“This book is mainly focused on telling the stories of Fidel Castro, from his childhood to adolescence, including his family background when he was born, how he pursued his studies and why he devoted himself to the revolutionary battle,” Xu said. 

“The biography also vividly depicts Fidel's life in prison and mentions his self-defense plea, better known as ‘History Will Absolve Me.’ Fidel Castro even wrote a long foreword called ‘To Chinese People’ for the Chinese version of this book. He especially mentioned that in the late 19th century, Chinese Cubans fought for Cuba’s independence from Spain. 

“The huge monument in Havana commemorating these Chinese people, and the Spanish inscription on it says that no Chinese Cuban is a deserter and no Chinese Cuban is a traitor. 

“Fidel Castro also stressed the close bonds between China and Cuba in his prelude for the book. I think this foreword shows Fidel Castro's deep affection for the Chinese people.”

Xu says many Chinese people see Cuba as a country that is geographically distant but close at heart.

“In September 1960, Fidel Castro declared that Cuba had established diplomatic relations with China. Cuba was the first Latin American country to have diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China. So in my opinion, Fidel Castro contributed a lot to the development of China-Cuba ties. He visited China many times and was an old friend of the Chinese people,” Xu said. 

“High-level exchanges have been frequent between China and Cuba. Xi Jinping met Castro in 2011 when he visited Cuba as China’s vice-president. President Xi met Castro again during his visit to Cuba in 2014. Premier Li Keqiang also met with Castro in September that year. The warm discussions between the leaders show our two countries’ close friendship.”

Fidel Castro maintained close ties with the Chinese people and he was hailed as a hero in China. The larger-than-life public figure has passed away, but his social achievements continue to bear fruit. 

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