18 March 2016
Cuba has awarded Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro one of the Caribbean country’s highest honors, the Maximum National Order.
Maduro was in Cuba on Friday to accept the award, named after Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti.
“Our union comes from love, brotherhood, identity, from two peoples with heroic histories,” Maduro said on receiving the award.
“Our brother president and friend, Nicolas Maduro received the National Order of ‘Jose Marti’.”
For the heroic people of Venezuela
“This award is truly for the heroic people of Venezuela, who have battled, and who do not give in.”
Cuba and Venezuela have a long history of solidarity, with joint projects like Miracle Mission, to cure blindness, and Mission Barrio Adentro, bringing thousands of Cuban doctors to Venezuela.
Maduro paid repeated homage to Chavez and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the president’s brother, as well as to the independence heroes of each country, Simon Bolivar and Marti, names that serve as a rallying cry against interference from foreign powers.
“This strength of Marti, of a dignified and steadfast Cuba that stands tall, I will take with me to the people of Venezuela in recognition of their heroism,” Maduro said.