.... Says Chargé d’Affaires as she Chronicles major events marking Cuba-Liberian Relations
Cuba, one of the largest archipelagos in the Caribbean, is known to Africa as a liberation partner and Liberia is no exception to its generosity.
The two countries established ties in 1974, and since then they have enjoyed mutual relations with visits of ambassadors and other diplomatic officials respectively.
Celebrating the 48th anniversary of this relationship this year, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Cuban Embassy near Monrovia, Mrs. Mercedes L. Martinez Herrera, cannot wait to recall those visits and other major events that have kept the relationship cordial throughout the years.
In her journal, Mrs. Herrera recalls that Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Charles Cecil Dennis, visited Cuba for the NAM Coordinating Bureau meeting, and then on the occasion of the IV NAM Summit in 1979, Cuban Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Angel Dalmau in return also paid a visit to Liberia in 2000.
Also in 2006, Chancellor George Wallace of Liberia visited Cuba on the occasion of the XIV NAM Summit in September that year, with the Director General of Bilateral Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Gerardo Penalver, visiting Liberia on the occasion of the official reopening of the Cuban Embassy in Monrovia in December 2016. Also in September 2019, the Cuban Chargé d’Affaires recalls the visit of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Rogelio Sierra.
Also recorded in the journal is the arrival of the Cuban Medical Brigade “Henry Reeve” as part of the group of 256 Cuban doctors who supported in the fight against the devastating Ebola epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2014. Also in that same year, 53 Cuban specialists arrived in Liberia who stayed six months supporting the government’s efforts to eradicate the disease.
“In the history of our bilateral ties and as part of the historical relations of friendship and collaboration, the government of Cuba has provided Liberia with scholarships for free studies in different disciplines. Today, some of these fruits of bilateral collaboration are in Liberia, contributing with their work to the development of their homeland,” Mrs. Herrera noted.
Mrs. Herrera in a special message commemorating the day, disclosed that currently there are nine Liberians in Cuba studying medicine.
She acknowledged that Cuba will always be grateful to the Liberian Government for her support in opposing the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against those people since the 1960s.
“At present, this genocidal policy condemns us to deprivation and is the fundamental impediment to acquiring medicines, equipment and necessary material. The blockade puts Cuba under extraordinary pressure to guarantee the material supplies and equipment that sustain the public health system and the specific conditions to face the current pandemic,” Mrs. Herrera said in a statement.
Further, the Chargé d’Affaires expressed gratitude to Liberia for support to her county in other multilateral issues, assuring, “Today we ratify the Cuban government’s willingness to continue strengthening bilateral ties with Liberia and supporting the recovery of the country’s health system, as well as exploring other areas of cooperation for the benefit of both peoples.”