Cuba, Lesotho: 40 years of fruitful ties

Cuba, Lesotho: 40 years of fruitful ties

On June 14, 1979, the Republic of Cuba and the Kingdom of Lesotho decided to formalise their diplomatic relations.
It was an important event in our common history, although in reality the links between both peoples began several centuries ago, in the context of the deep and historic relations that unite Cuba and Africa.
As a consequence of the cruel Atlantic slave trade, nearly 1.3 million Africans arrived in our Island centuries ago.
Their presence had a crucial impact on the formation of the Cuban nation. Africa is part of the very essence of our nation. Cuba is a Latin-African country, deeply proud of its African roots.

Throughout these 40 years of diplomatic ties, our nations have cemented fruitful relations, based on friendship, cooperation and solidarity.
The bilateral cooperation programmes subscribed cover diverse spheres, including health services, education, academic training, physical culture and sports, among others.
Numerous young Basotho professionals have graduated and will continue to graduate in the Cuban universities in multiple specialties, such as medicine, physical culture and sports, agronomy, veterinary, mining, economics, accounting, hydraulic engineering, telecommunications, civil construction, computing, among others.

Just to mention one recent example, on June 5, I had the honor of signing in Maseru, together with the Minister of Health of the Kingdom, Honorable Nkaku Kabi, two important new bilateral cooperation agreements on health.
Under the new agreements, the Cuban Medical Brigade that currently provides services in Lesotho will be significantly expanded and Cuban specialists in general comprehensive medicine, stomatology, as well as other clinical and surgical specialties, prosthetics technicians and specialists on electro medicine, will be deployed in Lesotho shortly.

We will continue to contribute as much as possible to improving the health indicators of the Basotho people.
The systematic political exchange between our countries is also an expression of the permanent consolidation of our bilateral ties. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom, Honorable Lesego Makgothi, made an official visit to Cuba in October 2018, and a high-level Cuban delegation, led by Inés María Chapman Waugh, Vice President of the Council of State and Ministers, visited the Kingdom last March.
Cuba is deeply grateful for the firm support always received from Lesotho and the rest of the African countries, in the fight against the illegal economic, commercial and financial blockade unilaterally imposed by the United States government against our country for 60 years, support that becomes more relevant to the current upswing in this criminal policy.

Lesotho and Cuba have many reasons to celebrate these first 40 years of fruitful diplomatic relations.
The friendly and fraternal bonds that unite our countries will continue advancing to higher levels, based on the solid common values that bring us together in the search of peace, well-being and prosperity for our peoples and the rest of the peoples of the world.

* Rodolfo Benítez Verson is the Ambassador of Cuba to the Kingdom of Lesotho

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