Cuban President Makes Historic Visit to Belize
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermúdez made a historic state visit to Belize on Sunday. He is the first Cuban president to visit the country and his visit is seen as a strengthening of ties and diplomatic relations. This year, Belize and Cuba will celebrate twenty-eight years of friendship. The bilateral relationship between Belize and Cuba for the past two decades has been a shining example of friendship and camaraderie. Strong ties of friendship between the two nations have been fostered through collaboration, sharing of ideals, and respect. A special National Assembly Sitting was held in his honour at the Government House in Belize City. Hipolito Novelo reports.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Your visit, the first state visit by a Cuban president, is yet another expression of this binding friendship and is most welcomed by my government and the Belizean people.”
Reporter: Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez made history on Sunday becoming the first President of Cuba to make an official state visit to Belize. The president and his delegation which included his wife Dr.Lis Cuesta Peraza touched down at the Philip Goldson International Airport on Sunday morning. The president arrived on this air craft from Convascia, one of the leading airlines in Venezuela. At the PGIA Governor General Froyla Tzalam greeted the president and his wife who was given flowers by a Belizean child. The national anthem of both countries played as the president inspected the guard of honor. And after several other official protocols the president and his delegation were transported to the Government House in Belize City for a special sitting of the House of Representatives. It is the first sitting to be held on Sunday and not at the National Assembly building in Belmopan. The historic visit comes after Prime Minister John Briceno led a delegation to Cuba for an official visit. Briceno underscored the invaluable friendship that Belize and Cuba shar
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Your visit is yet another symbol of the deep bonds of friendship that exist between our two nations and people. A friendship that is based on mutual respect, the principles of international law and those other noble principles enshrined in the charter of the United Nations such as the right to self determination and territorial integrity, non intervention of the internal affairs of other states and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Cuba’s consistent and principled support of Belize’s right to self determination and territorial integrity, a support which we enjoyed before independence and continue to enjoy even today is recognized and appreciated by all freedom loving Belizeans.”
Reporter: After paying a courtesy visit to Belize’s Governor General President Bermudez held a bilateral meeting with PM Briceno and signed two agreements. Five months from now Belize and Cuba will celebrate 28 years of diplomatic relations.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “These 28 years, marked by a robust commitment to constructive and meaningful collaboration. This morning our collaboration was further enhanced by the signing of two more agreements. An agreement on culture, and a memorandum of understanding on immigration.
Reporter: President Bermudez emphasized to the National Assembly the strong relations that both countries share.
Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba: “Over 1,000 Cubans have provided services in Belize since 1990 when the Cuban medical cooperation first started here. Other sectors have also benefited from our relations including, education, construction, sports and culture. Today 122 Cubans share their expertise with the brothers and sisters in the Caribbean in areas such as sports and healthcare. Dozes of young Cubans from benefited from the English Language Training Programs offered by Belize.”
Reporter: Cuba’s generosity is not limited to the medical brigade that arrived in the country to assist local healthcare workers to fight the deadly COVID-19 virus. Over the years hundreds of Belizeans have furthered their education on the island nation.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “One of the most uplifting and joyful moments in our nation’s history was the day when Fidel placed the Jose Marti medal on the late Right Honorable George Price, one national hero to another. Nicholas Guillen, Cuba’s great national poet wrote “Lo que Martí prometió, Fidel lo cumplió.” We honor them and today Mr.President I say on behalf of a grateful nation thank you. Muchas gracias.”