EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu has described Cuba as a shining example of a committed socialist system, despite facing a US trade embargo.
Shivambu is one of the four Chief Whips of the four largest parties in Parliament that is part of a multi-party delegation that is visiting Cuba.
The visit follows an invitation from the Cuba National Assembly Speaker to Speaker Bakeka Mbete.
The delegation includes the House Chairperson Mmatlala Borotho, the Deputy ANC Chief Whip Doris Dlakude and two whips from the National Assembly and the NCOP Tasneem Motara and Regina Lesoma.
Shivambu says their engagement on the first day of the five-day visit was inspiring.
“The most important thing about the visit to Cuba is that the Cubans are recommitting themselves to the socialist reconstruction of society despite the trade embargo by the United States and their friends. We met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They did say that the constitutional reform process that are going now, are not going to destruct them on the socialist commitments. And that is a great inspiration because we should still give space for socialism in the whole world to exist and Cuba is a shining example of that phenomenon. And another inspiration is the commitment of Cuba to continue training South African doctors. And it’s one of the greatest achievements that South Africa should invest in; allocate resources so that we can have as many medical doctors from rural areas that are trained here in Cuba so that we can have as many medical practitioners as possible”.
However, according to ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu; Cubans are appealing to South Africans to assist them to ensure that the US lifts the economic, political and cultural embargo on the Caribbean Island.
“We spoke to a number of Cubans including a ministry of Foreign Affairs today. Of course we also spoke to the Women’s Federation. Without the exception, all of them have urged us South Africans to assist them in ensuring that the economic, political and cultural embargo that America has enforced this country for decades is lifted. That is one area that South Africa will have to work with other progressive forces in the world. Because we have seen for ourselves how much this embargo or economic blockade has caused to the ordinary people of Cuba”.