President of the Republic of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos, arriving in Havana on the evening June 17 to begin his official visit, emphasized the fraternal ties and the long tradition of struggle shared between his country and Cuba. Santos also expressed his interest in exploring all possible avenues in order to further strengthen relations between the two nations. José Eduardo dos Santos was received by Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, vice president of the Council of Ministers, and members of the diplomatic delegation. As part of the scheduled activities during his visit, Santos will visit the José Martí Memorial, where he will pay tribute to the Apostle of Cuban Independence, and tour the Mariel Special Development Zone. José Eduardo dos Santos was born in Luanda August 28, 1942. His political life began when he joined clandestine suburban groups in the capital. When he was 19 years old he left the country and started to coordinate the activities of the youth sector of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) from abroad. After winning independence on November 11, 1975, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Relations and later served as Vice Prime Minister. After the death of Dr. Agostinho Neto in 1979, Santos was elected President of the MPLA, and the following day, inaugurated as President of the Republic of Angola and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, positions which he still holds today. Cuba and Angola established diplomatic relations November 15, 1975, four days after the African country proclaimed its independence.