Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the presentation of The Invincible series photo albums dedicated to the 90th birth anniversary of Ernesto Che Guevara and the 85th birth anniversary of Yury Gagarin, Moscow, April 12, 2019
Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
Today, on Cosmonautics Day, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to speak during the presentation of The Invincible series photo albums dedicated to Yury Gagarin, the first man in space, and Ernesto Che Guevara, an outstanding revolutionary and statesman.
Such events have become a good tradition. In 2016, on the initiative of the Russia-Cuba Friendship Society, there was a public presentation of a photo album dedicated to the 90th birth anniversary of Fidel Castro in this very room.
As the legendary leader of the Cuban Revolution, who ushered in a new era for his homeland, noted: “People do not make fate. Fate makes the person, at the right moment.” This wise statement is fully applicable to two outstanding figures of the 20th century, national heroes who set an example of dedication, courage, and loyalty to duty for all of us. Yury Gagarin and Ernesto Che Guevara were the originators of the Friendship Society between our countries back in 1964. It is gratifying to know that today it continues to operate successfully, while remaining an important component of a dialogue between societies and, in general, relations between Moscow and Havana.
The photographs presented at today's exhibit represent a unique timeline of the key milestones in the lives of two great men who possessed an extraordinary will, inexhaustible energy and strong characters. Of particular interest are the photos that capture Yury Gagarin and Ernesto Che Guevara during official visits and informal get-togethers.
Today’s event clearly demonstrates the continuity of eras and generations, the inviolability of friendship and mutual sympathy between us, our shared commitment to the values of truth, freedom and justice. The people of Cuba who, despite harsh external pressure, are determined to further defend sovereignty and independence and the right to determine its own future, deserve our deepest respect. The Cuban experience is a clear case of the futility of a policy of diktat in international affairs.
Russian-Cuban relations have stood the test of time and today have reached a high level of strategic partnership. We are proud that in the person of courageous and staunch Cubans we have reliable friends and loyal allies in the international arena. We have always stood together with Cuba in upholding the legitimate rights and interests of the Cuban people. We are united by zero tolerance for the methods of threat and blackmail, interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, and loyalty to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
I’m convinced that, based on the accumulated experience of productive cooperation, we will continue to move forward for the benefit of our people and in the name of peace, security and stability.
In closing, I would like to wish everyone here good health, well-being, new successes and a good evening.