Cuba in Zimbabwe

Declaration of the Zimbabwe-Cuba friendship association (ZICUFA) in recognition of the "Henry Reeve" Cuban International Medical Brigade

The executive committee and members of ZICUFA wish to express our recognition and support for the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize to the "Henry Reeve" Cuban International Medical Brigade. Since its creation in 2005 by the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, the Henry Reeve Brigade has helped humanity to face great lashes of hurricanes, floods or other natural phenomena, as well as epidemics that constitute real natural and social disasters.

In October 2014, at the risk of their lives, 256 members of the Contingent managed to save thousands of people infected by the Ebola virus in West African countries. The Brigade spent about 6 months working in those countries in response to the call of the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and the World Health Organization, to confront the virus.

At the present time when the Covid-19 pandemic has caused the world more than 35 million infected and just over 1 million deaths, 52 "Henry Reeve" Medical Brigades, demonstrating their solidarity, altruism, and disinterest in material profits have been at the forefront helping to combat this scourge that plagues humanity, from the call of 39 nations in need of support to fight against this evil that afflicts us.

ZICUFA ratifies its support for the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize to the "Henry Reeve" Brigade, and denounces the defamatory campaign against Cuban collaborators carried out by the current US administration. We also express our solidarity with the Government and people of Cuba in their fight against the genocide US blockade.

Secretary General of ZICUFA

Ernesto Ngoma

Ambassador of Cuba in Zimbabwe receives Diplomatic of the Year recognition

The Diplomat Magazine of Zimbabwe, awarded the Diplomat of the Year award for the Americas region to the Ambassador of Cuba, Carmelina Ramírez.

In the words of the Chairperson of the Candidates Nomination Committee, Anora Sibanda, the award seeks to recognize outstanding diplomats in Zimbabwe who have a positive impact on the lives of ordinary Zimbabwean citizens, who represent their countries well and they have excellent relations with other diplomats. Due to the conditions imposed by the extension of COVID19 this year, the event organizers went to the headquarters of the Diplomatic Mission of Cuba to deliver the distinction.

The Cuban diplomat thanked the recognition on behalf of the Cuban people. She reiterated her gratitude to the government and people of Zimbabwe for their friendship and permanent support in the fight against the blockade imposed by the US for more than six decades.

How to prosper under sanctions: Tips from Cuba

With 20 days to go before October 25, the day set aside by Sadc countries to amplify the region’s collective voice and express solidarity against illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, The Sunday Mail correspondent Wallace Ruzvidzo spoke to Cuban Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Carmelina Rodriguez, on the effects of sanctions on nations. Cuba is a victim of a 60-year-old United States embargo that prevents American businesses, and businesses with commercial activities in the United States, from conducting trade with Cuban interests.

Q: How would you characterise relations between Cuba and Zimbabwe?

A: Zimbabwe and Cuba enjoy a good relationship. I have always said this is a historical relationship based on friendship, mutual respect and collaboration. This relationship started before the independence (of Zimbabwe), during the liberation struggle.

The leaders of ZANU and ZAPU, late President Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, were in contact with the leadership of the Cuban Revolution.

After independence, the co-operation has been strengthened, particularly in education and health sectors.

Many Cuban technicians, professors and medical doctors came to Zimbabwe to give a hand in the process of building a new independent society.

More than 3 000 young Zimbabweans went to Cuba for training in our universities in the framework of the Cuban scholarship programme for students of Africa and Latin America. Cuba has contributed to the establishment of Bindura University of Science Education and Cuban professors have permanently been part of the staff at this institution.

Q: What areas of co-operation are in place in light of Covid-19?

A: Covid-19 has demonstrated the necessity of solidarity and co-operation among the countries and peoples because nobody can tackle this pandemic alone.

As you know, Cuba is a small island without solid economic resources, but has put in place a robust health system.

Cuba is world-famous for its ability to train outstanding doctors and nurses and for its generosity and spirit of solidarity in supporting other countries.

In Zimbabwe, we have permanent co-operation in the health sector through the Medical Brigade of 34 senior medical doctors. Some of them have participated in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

They are ready to work together with Zimbabwean personnel on the control of this pandemic. The MOHCC (Ministry of Health and Child Care) announced that Zimbabwe has acquired Cuban Interferon Alfa2b, a product that reduces 50 percent of the virus in patients.

Cuba and Zimbabwe are working to further deepen and broaden co-operation in the development of the pharmaceutical industry, in establishing a plant to produce medicinal drugs in the country.

Q: What lessons can Zimbabwe learn from Cuba which has been under sanctions for a long time?

A: Resistance! Cuba understands very well the nature of economic sanctions. For 60 years, successive US governments have imposed an iron and inhuman economic, financial and commercial blockade on Cuba.

Sixty years of lack of food and medicine, the impossibility of obtaining spare parts for machinery or public transport, the lack of school supplies, or even the restrictions imposed on those who wish to trade or do solidarity donations to the Cuban people.

The policy of blockade continues to represent the biggest impediment to the development of the potential of the Cuban economy, for the implementation of the National Economic and Social Development Plan, and for attaining development. The current American administration has intensified the sanctions to provoke desperation among the people and push for a regime change in Cuba even in times of Covid-19.

Despite the obsession of the US government, Cuba has moved forward. We Cubans have been creative and have firmly resisted the onslaught of the worst economic siege, which has tried to suffocate the nation. Cuba is not alone.

Q: How best can the voice of countries under sanctions be heard?

A: We do not have the intention to give up, never. We have demonstrated that we are a resilient nation and we will continue resisting and fighting for our dreams and sovereignty. We have used all the scenarios to condemn this unprecedented siege in human history.

Since 1992, year after year, Cuba has presented to the (United Nations) General Assembly the Resolution of the necessity to end economic, commercial and financial blockade that has received categorical support from the international community, regardless of political positions and geographical areas. But the US government has demonstrated that it does not take into consideration the international opinion and continues applying its war policy against my country.

The Zimbabwe-Cuba Solidarity Association (ZICUFA) praises the role of the “Henry Reeve” Cuban Medical Brigade

During a meeting of the Cuban Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Carmelina Ramírez, and the Counsellor, Yoisy Ford, with the ZICUFA leadership, the organization highlighted the role played by the “Henry Reeve” International Medical Brigade throughout these 15 years.

ZICUFA ratified its support for the Cuban Revolution and rejected the intensification of the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the current US administration, as well as the defamation campaign against Cuban medical collaboration that provides services to more than 65 countries of the world.