The Cuban Foreign Ministry, through its embassy near Monrovia has hailed African countries including Liberia for their truthful and consistent stance against economic blockade imposed by the United States Government over 50 years ago.
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on his Twitter page said: “The ties of friendship and solidarity that bind us to Africa are indestructible.”
According to the Cuban Embassy release, “Bruno Rodriguez thanked the African Union today for its ratified rejection of the US blockade against the island during the 33rd Summit of Heads of States and Government of that organization.”
During the 33rd Ordinary Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from February 9-10, the AU adopted a resolution on the impact of “Unilateral sanctions and coercive measures.”
In the resolution, section A condemns the “unilateral” sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Burundi and, at the same time, rejecting in Section B the continuity and illegality of the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed on Cuba since 1963.
The AU Resolution recognizes the blockade as the main obstacle for Cuba to implement the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development while reaffirming its support to the U.N. General Assembly Resolution on the issue, which every year receives the unanimous support of African States.
Cuba in 2017 came first in rank among countries in Latin America as the country with the best education system (World Bank, 2017). In health, Cuba comes 30 in rank as a healthiest country (Bloomberg, 2019). These two areas are key components of the Sustainable Development Goals the United Nations is working at to ensure that they are achieved by 2030.
The AU Resolution further expresses regret for the setback experienced in bilateral relations between Cuba and the United States, with emphasis on the new sanctions adopted by that country since November 9, 2017, by extending the extraterritorial component of the blockade through the full implementation of “Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.”
It can be recalled that during the latter part of the Obama Administration there was a green light, giving prospects of restoration of US-Cuba relation, and both countries were able to exchange ambassadors and President Obama and his wife Michelle visited Havana while the Revolutionary Leader of Cuba, Fidel Castrol was still alive. US went further to allow the first commercial flights to land in Havana after 50 years, and a communication company from the United States was established there.
When President Donald Trump took over from Obama, he undid all that his predecessor put in place and brought the relation between Cuba and the US to status quo.
The resolution further urges the U.S. Government to lift what it calls the “Unjustifiable” and long standing blockade, with an expression of solidarity with the Cuban people.
The progress of Cuba in Education, Agriculture and Health is as well impacting Africa. Over 50 Liberian students are currently in Cuba studying Medicine and Agriculture, while scores of them have completed and returned to Liberia to contribute to the building of their country in their professional areas.
Chargé d’Affaires Mercedes L. Martinez Herrera, says Cuba’s relation with Liberia and Africa in general is beneficial to the extent that students from Liberia are leaving every time going to Cuba to study Medicine.
In recognition of Cuba’s role in Liberia’s human development, students who studied in Cuba have the Cuba-Liberia Friendship Association that propagates information about Cuban scholarships that have led many Liberians to gain education in that Latin American country.
Kesselly Kanneh says the organization is established to inform the Liberian people about the benefits of Cuba-Liberia relations and, for those interested in studying in Cuba, to know how to trace the opportunity that leads people there.