By Joaquin M. Sendolo
Mercedes L. Martínez Herrera, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Cuba in Liberia
Cuba commits to fight for Africa’s growth
As Africans across the continent and around the world celebrate the African Liberation Day today, May 25, the Communist Republic of Cuba has reiterated its commitment to respecting the long-existing ties between it and the African Continent, committing to joining Africa to work towards improving the human resource capacity of people of the continent in various professions and occupations.
“Cuba reiterates its willingness to support the Governments of the African continent in the training of their human resources and professionals in Cuban educational institutions, particularly in the health sector,” says Cuban Chargé d’Affaires to Liberia, Mercedes L. Martínez Herrera.
Cuba has a long-standing history with Africa during the fight for independence from Western powers including Britain, France, Germany, and other European countries. Cuba also has a large black population of West African origin and has been proactive in drawing students from Africa including Liberia in recent years to study Sports, Medicine, and Agriculture.
During the Ebola crisis in Liberia in 2014, scores of Cuban doctors came to Liberia to help with the fight, and some doctors are in South Africa and Europe currently to help fight the Coronavirus.
“The fraternal links with Africa are an essential part of our history, going back to the formation of the Cuban nationality, marked by the African imprint, culture, rhythm, and traditions, which arrived in our country, together with the blacks brought to Cuba, during the time of the slave trade,” said Chargé d’Affaires Herrera in a statement issued over the weekend.
She recalled that Combatants, health workers, teachers, sports coaches and other Cuban specialists from the most diverse fields have carried out missions in African nations, and have done so honoring an elementary duty of solidarity and internationalism with our brothers, thus settling part of our historical debt to Africa.
The Chargé d’Affaires further acknowledged that the year since the last celebration of Africa Day has been characterized by dynamism in bilateral relations with the nations of the African continent and progress towards deepening and consolidating political-diplomatic and cooperation ties between Cuba and the countries of the continent.
Since 1963 Cuba has been under an economic blockade imposed by the United States and there have been persistent calls by UN member countries for the blockade to be lifted since the island country no longer poses a threat to the US. There were tremendous efforts made at the end of the Obama Administration to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba, but President Donald Trump upon taking office, overturned the entire plan thus placing Cuba back under the yoke of US sanctions.
Recognizing the role of African leaders in the call for lifting the blockade, Chargé d’Affaires Herrera said: “We must recognize the unanimous support of the governments, leaders, and peoples of Africa for the struggle against the US blockade imposed on Cuba, including their vote in favor of the elimination of that policy within the African Union and the United Nations General Assembly.”
In a statement of solidarity as Africa commemorates its 57th Liberation Day, Chargé d’Affaires Herrera said “It is a source of pride to see that today the African Union continues to consolidate itself. Today, Africa is a group of independent countries that continues to struggle to achieve full development, with its own voice, in the international arena. Africa can count on Cuba now and always.
African Liberation Day, or African Day, is celebrated every year on May 25 in commemoration of Africa’s struggle for independence. The day came when independent African countries met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1963 from where the Organization for African Unity (OAU) was given birth to. On July 9, 2002, the OAU was replaced by the African Union in Durban, South Africa after a series of meetings among African countries championed by the late Libyan President Muammar Ghadafi.
Source Daily Observer