President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez visits Belize

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023

For the first time, a Cuban leader visited Belize on Sunday, February 12th. The First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez were officially visiting the Jewel, where he was invited to an extraordinary joint session of the National Assembly. The historic visit was a sign of the strong ties between both countries. The visit was also the opportunity to sign two agreements between Belize and Cuba, and the United States (U.S.) urged to lift sanctions on the island nation.
The Cuban President and his delegation arrived on Sunday after 10AM. After being formally welcomed to Belize at the Philip Goldson International Airport, he was whisked away to the House of Culture in Belize City for the special sitting of the National Assembly. The first of its kind was held outside of the Capital City of Belmopan and on a Sunday. President Bermudez was greeted by Belize’s Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Froyla Tzalam.
Prime Minister Honourable Dr. John Briceño also welcomed the President, and they signed two agreements during a meeting; one dealing with immigration and another with culture. The latter highlights the participation of artists and personalities in relevant festivals and cultural events. Afterward, the Cuban President attended the special session of the National Assembly.
During the session, Briceño commended Cuba’s consistent and moral support of Belize’s right to self-determination and territorial integrity. Briceño also thanked Cuba for its commitment to providing immediate relief in times of emergency and, in most cases, long-term capacity building to developing countries like Belize.
The Prime Minister noted that these actions by Cuba take place in the face of what he referred to as an unjust, illegal, financial, commercial, and trade embargo imposed by the U.S. Briceño also said that Belize condemns the unjustified designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. He noted that there is no legal or moral justification for Cuba to remain on such designation. Briceño added that despite these challenges, Cuba continues their work and helps develop struggling developing countries like Belize.

President Bermudez thanked Belize for their support, especially against the resolution of the economic, commercial, and financial blockade seen yearly at the United Nations. He shared it was an honor to be the first Cuban President to visit Belize and that such a trip strengthened the countries’ relationship. Bermudez noted that 120 Cuban medical collaborators and two in sports are working in Belize. He highlighted that about 1,000 Cuban healthcare workers had provided their services to Belize, and such cooperation continues. The island nation also noted that they support Belize and the CARICOM Member States and continue to offer training to their people. Currently, there are 64 Belizean students in Cuba.
Belize and Cuba established diplomatic relations in July 1995. However, the country has cooperated with Cuba since 1990 in healthcare and sports.


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