Chinese president ends regional tour in cradle of Cuban Revolution

miércoles 23 de julio de 2014 14:49 GYT

* Numerous credit and trade deals signed

* No new investments announced

By Marc Frank

HAVANA, July 23 (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping ended an eight-day trip through Latin America on Wednesday with a visit to eastern Cuba, where both the island's independence struggle against Spain and Fidel Castro's revolution began.

Xi arrived in Havana on Monday and presided over the signing of 29 trade, debt, credit and other agreements on Tuesday ensuring his country will remain Cuba's second largest trading partner after Venezuela, at $1.4 billion last year.

The Chinese president also met with his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, who traveled with him to the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

China will continue to restructure debt, estimated at $6 billion, import Cuban nickel, sugar and cigars, digitalize the television system, upgrade communications and cyber security and cooperate in health, education and science, according to some of the agreements which were made public without any details on Wednesday.

New credits included funding to build a multipurpose shipping terminal in Santiago and a donation to help Cuba's second largest city recover from Hurricane Sandy, which struck the area almost two years ago.

"China and Cuba being socialist countries, we are closely united by the same missions, ideals and struggles," Xi said on Tuesday upon receiving the Jose Marti Medal, Cuba's highest honor.   Continuación...