Cuban VP meets Zim coun­ter­parts

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Felix Share and Zva­maida Mur­wira Harare Bureau

CUBAN Vice Pres­i­dent Sal­vador Valdes Mesa, is in the coun­try to ex­plore fur­ther ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion with Zim­babwe be­yond the health and ed­u­ca­tion sec­tors.

Mr Mesa and his del­e­ga­tion, yes­ter­day sep­a­rately met Act­ing Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko, Vice Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa and Speaker of the Na­tional As­sem­bly Ad­vo­cate Ja­cob Mu­denda, where they de­nounced il­le­gal sanc­tions im­posed on the two coun­tries by the West and called for the un­con­di­tional lift­ing of the em­bargo on Cuba.

In his meet­ing, Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mphoko was ac­com­pa­nied by Min­is­ters Sim­barashe Mum­bengegwi (For­eign Af­fairs), Dr Wal­ter Mzembi (Tourism and Hos­pi­tal­ity In­dus­try) and Dr Lazarus Dokora (Pri­mary and Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion).

VP Mnan­gagwa later hosted a lun­cheon for the Cuban del­e­ga­tion at a lo­cal ho­tel.

In an in­ter­view, Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi said Zim­babwe and Cuba wanted to ex­pand their re­la­tions in many ar­eas with tourism be­ing at the cen­tre of de­lib­er­a­tions.

“Now we are work­ing to move into other ar­eas,” he said.

“As such, the Cuban Vice Pres­i­dent is here and he has been well re­ceived by the Act­ing Pres­i­dent Cde Mphoko and VP Mnan­gagwa. They have un­der­taken de­tailed dis­cus­sions in var­i­ous pos­si­ble ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion, and also briefed each other on the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tions pre­vail­ing in both coun­tries. Cuba has done ex­tremely well in the tourism in­dus­try, and as you know, our Min­is­ter (Dr Mzembi) is very en­er­getic and de­ter­mined to build this sec­tor. Cuba is go­ing to be­come one of our most im­por­tant al­lies in the rejuvenation of our tourism.”

Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi said Zim­babwe and Cuba had a “long stand­ing re­la­tion­ship” po­lit­i­cally, eco­nom­i­cally and diplo­mat­i­cally that should be main­tained.

“We have had reg­u­lar ex­change vis­its even at the level of Heads of State, Min­is­ters and now it’s the Vice Pres­i­dent of Cuba who is vis­it­ing,” he said.

“Nat­u­rally, we are dis­cussing our re­la­tion­ships. Apart from the sup­port that we re­ceived dur­ing the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle, af­ter In­de­pen­dence, Cuba in­tro­duced a pro­gramme to train our stu­dents in Sci­ence and Math­e­mat­ics.

“Over 3 000 of our young peo­ple were trained in Cuba be­tween 1986 and 1996 and that is a very sig­nif­i­cant num­ber. Ed­u­ca­tion­ally, Zim­babwe is at the top of the lad­der in Africa in the teach­ing of Sci­ence and Math­e­mat­ics be­cause of Cuba.”

He said the pro­gramme was moved in 1996 from Cuba, re­sult­ing in a spe­cialised higher learn­ing in­sti­tu­tion, the Bin­dura Univer­sity of Sci­ence Ed­u­ca­tion, where Ha­vana sec­onded its lec­tur­ers to en­sure the con­tin­ued suc­cess of the pro­gramme.

Min­is­ter Mum­bengegwi said the suc­cess in ed­u­ca­tion was repli­cated in the area of health where med­i­cal ex­perts were sec­onded to Zim­babwe and most of them worked in ru­ral ar­eas where most Zim­babwe health per­son­nel shunned.

“As you know, there have been de­vel­op­ments in Cuba re­lat­ing to their re­la­tion­ship with the United States and, the Vice Pres­i­dents have been able to ex­change notes in those ar­eas,” he said.

“They to­tally agreed that sanc­tions on Cuba and Zim­babwe should be lifted un­con­di­tion­ally be­cause they have no ba­sis for their hav­ing been im­posed in the first place, let alone their con­tin­u­a­tion.”

In their meet­ing with Adv Mu­denda at Par­lia­ment build­ing, Mr Mesa hailed Zim­babwe for be­ing bold in the wake of the ef­fects of il­le­gal sanc­tions im­posed by the West.

“As you know that Cuba is one of the coun­tries that have reg­is­tered suc­cess in the area of health, par­tic­u­larly the preven­tion of HIV/Aids from mother-to-child trans­mis­sion, we might want to share our ex­pe­ri­ence with Zim­babwe,” said Mr Mesa.

Adv Mu­denda said the Cuban Par­lia­ment, and the Par­lia­ment of Zim­babwe should ex­plore ways of co­op­er­a­tion to deepen the two coun­tries’ bi­lat­eral re­la­tions.

“Peo­ple like us who serve in this in­sti­tu­tion are hum­bled by the re­spon­si­bil­ity thrust upon us. Through this re­spon­si­bil­ity, we can share best prac­tices and that is why we have es­tab­lished Cuban-Zim­babwe Par­lia­men­tary Friend­ship, chaired by Se­nate Deputy Pres­i­dent Cde Chen Chimuteng­wende,” said Adv Mu­denda.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.