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  • Former Cuban President Fidel Castro talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 11, 2014 in Havana.

    Former Cuban President Fidel Castro talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 11, 2014 in Havana. | Photo: AFP

Published 6 September 2016

Havana has maintained ties with Moscow since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

The Russian people should read about the life of Cuban revolutionary and ex-President Fidel Castro, head of the editorial department at the Russian Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media (Rospechat), Yuri Pulia, said Monday.

ANALYSIS:
Fidel Castro: A Latin American Legend

Speaking to Prensa Latina ahead of the 29th Moscow International Book Fair, which starts on Wednesday and runs until September 11, Pulia made the comments in reference to the launch of “Fidel Castro Ruz, Guerrillero del Tiempo” (Fidel Castro Ruz, Timeless Guerilla Fighter), a new book by Cuban journalist and war correspondent Katiuska Blanco.

Marking the revolutionary leader’s 90th birthday, the two-volume work has already been released in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. After being translated into Russian, it will be officially launched in the country on Wednesday.

Havana has maintained ties with Moscow since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s—which was Cuba’s main supplier of oil under preferential trade agreements—and on Wednesday Cuban President Raul Castro asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to begin supplying the Caribbean country with oil once again, according to RT.

While the exact terms of Raul’s request are not currently known, Cuba and Russia currently cooperate on multiple accords in the fields of energy, industry, healthcare and disaster prevention.

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Relations between the two countries improved after Putin came to power in 2000. On an official trip to Cuba in July 2014, the Russian leader announced plans to cancel 90 percent of the islands US$35 billion debt to Moscow. Raul branded the decision “another great, tangible generosity of the Russian people toward Cuba.”

Putin was also one of the first world leaders to pay his respects to Fidel on his 90th birthday back in August. "You enjoy deep respect in Russia as an outstanding statesman who devoted his entire life to serving the people of Cuba,” he said.

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