Esteban Lazo Hernández, a member of the Communist Party of Cuba Political Bureau and president of the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP), described as fruitful the visit to Cuba by Fidel Espinoza Sandoval, president of Chile’s House of Representatives.
Speaking to Granma International in Havana, Lazo Hernández stated that the encounter contributed to strengthening the ties of friendship which unite the two countries and mentioned high level visits by Chilean parliamentarians to Cuba from 2015 to date.
The two officials met on December 1, at Cuba’s parliament building, where they discussed regional issues, specifically the current political situation in the region, and imperialist actions being undertaken by the United States government, according to a report published on the Cuban National Assembly's website.
Meanwhile, Espinoza Sandoval stated that he felt honored to be visiting the island as President of Chile’s House of Representatives, and recalled that he is the son of former Deputy Luis Espinoza Villalobos, who was shot and killed in Frutillar in December, 1973, at 33 years of age, under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
“It was my father who organized the welcome ceremony for Fidel Castro Ruz in the distant city of Puerto Montt (capital of Llanquihue province, in the Los Lagos region, located 1,000 km south of Santiago de Chile) during the Comandante’s historic 1971 visit to Chile.
Therefore today, my visit here to hold important meetings with distinguished Cuban authorities as President of my country’s lower chamber and son of a victim of the violation of human rights, is for me a historic moment, he stated.
We have strengthened and refined relations between the two nations, which will be seen in future cooperation efforts, above all in key aspects for our country such as public health for our citizens, a sector in which Cuba currently has advances to share with other nations, noted the Chilean official.
After praising the island’s collaborative efforts with other countries in the spheres of science and technology, Espinoza Sandoval noted that Cuba “gives human rights to the world and this is something that must be stressed,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chilean parliamentarian went on to highlight the importance of joining forces, as Fidel Castro Ruz said, in order to attain all the advances that you Cubans and the Revolution have achieved.
He also called for reflection following recent advances by right-wing forces on the continent, noting, “If we as center leftists unite around the world we will be invincible.”
Espinoza Sandoval explained that progressive forces must make the most of their close connection with the people to promote movements dedicated to defending and supporting social rights.
“When we lose, it will be because we have been divided, because there were factors able to divide us. Thus, I believe that we must continue strengthening good relations within the region; I believe that there are different bodies, organizations, and institutions in which we comprehensively participate with Cuba,” he noted.
The Chilean official also mentioned the overwhelming United Nations vote against the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government on Cuba, and described as despicable the recent anti-Cuban measures adopted by U.S. President Donald Trump, which represent a step back in relations between the two countries, according to Espinoza Sandoval.
The Chilean delegation also included deputies from the Socialist, Communist, and Democratic parties, which are part of the country’s coalition government.