Dublin, Ireland.- Ireland and Cuba share a common history of fighting for their independence, presidents Michael Higgins and Miguel Díaz-Canel said after holding official talks.

Higgins received Diaz-Canel on Monday at the presidential residence of Áras an Uachtarain, an imposing white palace located north of this capital, where after the welcome protocol, both sat down to talk in a frank and relaxed atmosphere.

During the lunch offered by the host to his guests, the Irish president raised his glass for the deep bonds of friendship and solidarity that unite both countries, and made vows because the visit of his Cuban counterpart helps strengthen those ties.

The people of Ireland and Cuba share a deep pride in their national identity, a great passion for freedom, and having lived under the shadow of a powerful neighbor, said Higgins, who recalled that the two nations had to fight for their independence against Empire (British and Spanish, at home case).

The Irish president reaffirmed his country’s respect for international law, by rejecting the blockade and the unilateral punitive actions imposed by the United States against the Caribbean country.

He also highlighted the humanitarian history of the Antillean nation, and cited the help provided by Cuban doctors to other peoples of the world in cases of natural disasters and epidemics, despite, he said, that it is its modest economic resources and geographic size.

This is not just a humanitarian action, but an emphatic and powerful form of internationalism, said Higgins, who congratulated the Cuban people for their willingness to provide medical assistance in times of crisis.

In turn, Díaz-Canel thanked the attention given by its host and the sustained ‘frank’ exchange, and highlighted the independence principles that unite the two countries since the beginning of the war against Spanish colonialism in 1868.

In that sense, he recalled the interview then made by the Irish journalist James O’Kelly to the Father of the Cuban Homeland, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, and then published in the book La tierra del mambí (The land of the independence fighters).

Díaz-Canel also highlighted the Irish ancestors of the legendary Argentine-Cuban guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara, and the admiration that the historical leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, always had for this country.

Peace and independence have been precisely the principles that have guided the Cuban revolutionary process since 1868, and are still today the principles that we defend in the face of the aggressive escalation of the United States, the president said, to toast the friendship between the two peoples.

Díaz-Canel’s agenda on the last day of his stay in Dublin includes a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, a tour of the once Kilmainham prison, and two meetings with compatriots residing in Ireland and Irish solidarity with the country Caribbean

The visit to Ireland of the Cuban president marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Havana and Dublin, and follows a similar one that Higgins made to Cuba in February 2017.

Díaz-Canel will depart tomorrow from this capital to Belarus, as part of a tour that also includes stays in Azerbaijan and Russia.

The Cuban delegation includes the foreign minister, Bruno Rodríguez; Foreign Trade Minister Rodrigo Malmierca; and the director of the department of Europe in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alba Soto.