By Rubén G. Abelenda (*)
Banjul. - This coming May 19th Gambia and Cuba will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations, and uninterrupted years of friendship and solidarity between both countries and peoples, united by their roots, stories of struggle, and their dignity.
Despite the great geographical distance that separates them, the largest of the Antilles and this small West African nation have been very close to each other through collaboration and mutual support in various international settings.
The Gambia and Cuba have stood together in defense of their sovereignty and independence, in favor of global peace, unity, multilateralism, and a better world for all.
The Caribbean island has maintained for almost three decades its cooperation in the field of health with this grateful people, who daily have words of praise for doctors, graduates and technicians who come to this African land from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean to provide health care, heal and save lives.
In turn, professors who are members of the Cuban Medical Brigade (CMB) have trained numerous young people for years at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Banjul, while today Gambian doctors are studying specialties in the oldest Antillean archipelago.
Collaboration and solidarity have united the two countries, whose authorities reiterate their willingness to increase their bilateral ties in various areas, and further strengthen their ties of friendship.
In recent times we have heard phrases that say a lot about the affection and admiration that Gambians feel towards Cubans, who have accompanied the island at all times in its fight against the blockade imposed by the US for six decades.
From a high-ranking dignitary here today we hear that if Cuba progresses, Gambia and Africa will surely develop as well, because the Caribbean nation would help this region more.
A very moving expression that we heard very recently from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mamadou Tangara, when he publicly affirmed that Cuba is the most African country in the world outside this continent, in clear allusion to its historical conduct of solidarity.
There is no doubt that both nations will celebrate many birthdays of their diplomatic relations in the future because the brotherhood between them has very deep and solid roots.
Congratulations to Gambia and Cuba for this May 19th, and congratulations to Africa for their Day, the coming 25.
(*) Ambassador of Cuba in the Gambia