General Fan Changlong visited Cuba accompanied by teams of senior Army, Air Force and Navy officers. His first official engagement was a wreath laying ceremony at the monument to one of Cuba’s fallen war heroes. General Antonio Maceo died in 1896 fighting the Spanish during Cuba’s War of Independence. CCTV’s Michael Voss filed this report from Havana.
- General Fan’s visit is the latest in what has become a regular series of high-level military exchanges between China and Cuba.
- Last year saw the chief of the Chinese general’s staff visit a tank regiment on the outskirts of Havana. Cuba’s armed forces rely mainly on old Soviet-era equipment. The Chinese military has similar hardware and Cuba has looked to Beijing for assistance in maintaining its defense capabilities.
- General Fan Changlong is the most senior Chinese official to visit Cuba since the historic announcement last December that the U.S. and Cuba planned to restore diplomatic relations after more than a half-century of hostilities.