By Prof. Augustine Konneh, PhD
Liberia and Cuba established diplomatic relations on April 19, 1974. In 2003, Cuba amalgamated its diplomatic presence in West Africa and prioritized Liberia under the jurisdiction of its Mission near Accra. Since then, Cuba’s presence in Liberia has reignited the ties between both countries as manifested in Cuba’s recent medical outreach to Liberia.
For example, Cuba was one of the countries that helped to ease Liberia’s agony during the Ebola epidemic in 2014. When Liberia was in the throes of that humanitarian disaster, Cuba sent medical doctors to strengthen Liberia’s fragile medical capacity. This was a difficult time for the country because it seemed that all states were shutting their doors to it. In Cuba, we saw a friend indeed. Therefore, on the occasion of commemorating Cuba-Liberia diplomatic relations we must felicitate with Cuba for its unforgettable solidarity when Liberia really needed help.
On October 22, 2014, the Henry Reeve Cuban Medical Brigade of Cuba deployed a 53-member medical contingent in Liberia comprising epidemiologists, intensive care physicians, general practitioners, surgeons, pediatricians, nurses and intensive care nurses, anesthesiologists and nursing graduates. They supported the global efforts of our other partners, the United States, China, the European Union, the African Union and ECOWAS, to contain and successfully eradicate the deadly Ebola Virus Disease from Liberia. The Cuban outreach, therefore, became an epitome of successful multilateralism to confront a deadly plague never before seen in Liberia.
Cuba continues to provide numerous scholarships to Liberians in various disciplines including sports medicine. She has a standing offer to send doctors to Liberia to continue providing critical medical services to the Liberian people.
It is therefore my hope that, on this historic celebration of the 47th anniversary of Cuban-Liberian relations, the friendly ties subsisting between both countries will be deepened by further cultural, economic, scientific, and economic relations between both states for the benefit of their peoples, and the sustainable development of our one world.
LONG LIVE CUBAN–LIBERIAN RELATIONS!
Prof. Augustine Konneh, Ph.D is the Dean of the Graduate School, AME University, Monrovia Liberia.