Category Archives: Cuban Russian Friendship

General Raúl Castro Ruz and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the statue of the Republic

An enduring symbol of the undefeated, combative homeland
Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, cut the ribbon at a ceremony to re-inaugurate the statue of the Republic, following its restoration
Yudy Castro Moralesaugust 8, 2019 11:08:20

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Photo: Estudios Revolución
Impressive at the center of a space that befits it, the extraordinary statue of the República stands in the Salón de los Pasos Perdidos, in Cuba’s Capitolio, headquarters of the National Assembly, returned to its previous majesty in a recently concluded process of restoration.
In a July 24 ceremony to re-inaugurate the statue was presided by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, who with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, cut the ribbon, in the presence of Political Bureau members Esteban Lazo Hernández, National Assembly President, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla.Also on hand, were other government officials and Gambian Foreign Minister Dr. Mamadou Tangara, who, along with Lavrov, was on an official visit to our country.The statue, according to Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, Havana city historian, represents “a symbol of the nation”, which for decades has presided over the Capital’s great hall. At the time of its creation, and still today, the República is the third tallest indoor statue in the world, second only to the Golden Buddha in Japan and that of Abraham Lincoln in Washington.

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Photo: Estudios Revolución
It weighs, he said, “a formidable 49 tons,” of bronze, the work of Italian architect and sculptor, Ángelo Zanelli, which rises to 18.16 meters. The sublime work stands on a pedestal of “ancient Egyptian marble.”
Leal thanked the Russian government for its donation that made possible the restoration of the magnificent statue, which involved a chemical and mechanical cleaning, the repair of cracks and its gold plating. He recognized “the serious work” of the Russian company whose specialists are also participating in efforts to renovate the Capitol’s dome.

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Photo: Estudios Revolución
Eight Russian women and 14 men were responsible for the project, which began October 17, 2018, and was concluded this past June 21.
Eusebio Leal went on to say that the grand sculpture of a woman holding a spear and a shield, is a symbol of the “undefeated, combative homeland,” and expresses the “continuing will of the Cuban people, who began the struggle in 1868.”
The City Historian explained that the gold also arrived from Russia to plate the statue and the dome, which, he announced, will be unveiled this coming September, as a key part of the Capitol’s renovation. Twenty-four carat gold, he reiterated, “of the highest grade, as pure and important as the friendship between the Russian Federation and the Cuban nation.”
In his remarks, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov emphasized the significance of the Capitol for all generations of Cubans, the sacred site of the Tomb of the Unknown Mambi; as well as its importance as the seat of National Assembly of People’s Power, which directs its efforts toward the development of the country. “Cuba is a faithful friend and strategic partner,” he said. “Our relations have passed the test of time and today continue to develop intensely in all directions.”He said that this joint project was a good example of cooperation between the two nations and reflects the friendship and mutual support that unite us.After the ribbon cutting, Raúl conversed with the restoration team and congratulated them for their excellent work on one of the Capitol’s most valuable pieces.