Mnangagwa visits Cuba after surprise Fidel Castro looks

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa travels to Cuba on an official visit this Friday where he is reportedly set hold official talks with Cuban authorities.

The Zimbabwean leader left for New York early this week to attend the annual United Nations General Assembly.

He is set to cross into North America to visit the Zimbabwean ally for the first time since assuming power 2017.

Mnangagwa ends his Cuban visit on Sunday.

Zimbabwe, whose leaders have been under US sanctions for over two decades, tries to draw bravado from the resilience of Cuba, which survived US sanctions over decades.

At a personal level, Mnangagwa has betrayed his secret admiration for former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Mnangagwa’s government caused an uproar in 2019 when it renamed Harare’s Charter road after the Cuban founding leader.

Lately, Mnangagwa appeared at a War Veterans League conference decked out in Castro’s trademark olive green fatigue.

His uncharacteristic dress order invited scorn from the firebrand Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) which accused the Zimbabwean leader of mimicking Castro’s dress outfit while failing to imitate Castro’s free education policies.

“President @edmnangagwa you can’t be smiling while sons and daughters of the working class are on the verge of dropping out of University because of exorbitant fees. We see you imitating Castro, not a bad idea, but in Cuba there is free education. Why don’t you just copy that too?” said ARTUZ via its Twitter handle.

As a country, Zimbabwe and Cuba share longstanding relations dating back to the time of the country’s liberation struggle.

The last time a Zimbabwean leader was in Cuba was in 2016 when then President Robert Mugabe travelled to Havana to attend Castro’s funeral.

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