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61st Anniversary of The Cuban Revolution

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H.E. Ms. Soraya Alvarez Núñez, Ambassador of Cuba.

By Roy Lie Tjam.

The Hague, 31 January 2020. The Embassy of the  Republic of Cuba in The Hague celebrated the Republic of Cuba’s National Day on the occasion of the 61st Anniversary of the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution. The Revolution’s day is officially celebrated on the 1st of January every year, in memory of the arrival of Cuban leader Fidel Castro to La Habana at New Year’s Eve in 1951.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to The Netherlands, H.E. Ms. Soraya Alvarez Núñez, and her husband, Ing. Eduardo Morales, received congratulations and warm messages of support from the hundreds of guests who came from The Hague, Amsterdam, and Brussels to attend Cuba’s popular annual celebration.

H.E. Ms. Soraya Alvarez Núñez, and her husband, Ing. Eduardo Morales with the Ambassador of China, H.E. Dr. Xu Hong.

Among the hundreds of attendees, there were heads of international and European organizations, members of parliament, international judges, academics, Dutch civil servants, diplomats, and countless friends of Cuba from the Dutch civil society.

Among the many ambassadors and Heads of Mission attending the event, one could find the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, the Apostolic Nuncio, and the ambassadors of China, Germany, Austria, Thailand, Palestine, Yemen, Guatemala, Angola, Ghana, Venezuela, Romania, Iran, Bosnia & Herzegovina, El Salvador, Belarus, Uganda, Chile, Viet Nam, Algeria, Ecuador, Thailand, Uruguay, Serbia, Pakistan, Indonesia, GRULAC members, as well as the Director General of the OPCW, the Chief of Mission of the  IOM and several other prominent members of the diplomatic corps.

H.E. Ms. Sahar Ghanem, Ambassador of Yemen, H.E. Ms. Maria Teresa Infante, Ambassador of Chile, Ambassador Alvarez, H.E. Ms. Rawan Sulaiman, Chief of Palestinian Mission and H.E. Mirsada Čolaković,, Ambassador of Bosnia Herzegovina.

In her welcome remarks, after thanking the audience for accepting the invitation, Ambassador Alvarez Núñez enumerated the successes and hurdles that her beloved country, Cuba, faced during the course of 2019. A resume of what she said in her speech follows.

H.E. Mr. Philippe Couvreur, Ing. Eduardo Morales, Ambassador Alvarez and Cyril Couvreur.

“The President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, in his speech last December 19th at the National Assembly of People’s Power, pointed out that 2019, for Cuba, has been hard and challenging, full of defies and aggressions – although never as much as during the years that followed the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, when the siege was accompanied even by an invasion and isolation plans of Cuba throughout the hemisphere. Those challenges were defeated and overwhelmed, creating a history that makes us proud.” 

Cuba National Day 61st Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

“When talking about challenges and obstacles” – the Ambassador specified – “the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States is the main one. In 2019, this implied the imposition of at least a unilateral coercive measure per week, with noticeable extraterritorial effects, such as: the cancellation, restriction or prohibition of arrivals of cruises and flights; limitations on remittances; the persecution of financial transactions and suppliers of fuel and other essential raw materials.”

“There is no project or action taken by the Cuban government that escapes to slander or gross lies” – H.E. Ms. Núñez continued, condemning “the injurious campaign against the medical collaboration that Cuba offers to other countries”. “It is immoral and unacceptable to question the dignity, professionalism and altruism of the more than 400,000 health workers who, in 56 years, have completed missions in 164 nations” – she noted.

Ing. Morales, H.E. Mr. Carlos.Arguello Gomez, Dean of the diplomatic corps of The Hague and Ambassador Alvarez.

The Ambassador went on to condemn the economic war imposed on her country. “A gross violation of the human rights of the Cuban people is the economic war unleashed during 2019, which is unfairly imposed to us for defending our sovereignty and exercising the right to self-determination. Cuba deeply appreciates all the sovereign governments and businessmen, friends in the world, who have given us their solidarity and selfless support that has allowed us to face and resist this unconventional war.”

“The heritage of our National Hero, José Martí, as well as the legacy of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, which goes beyond his physical presence, continue to guide the current generations of Cubans to stay working optimistically to achieve their development goals, in building a fairer, prosperous and sustainable society” – Ms. Núñez continued, also highlighting her country’s achievements during the past year.

“The year 2019 was also a very positive year for Cuba. For instance, 2019 witnessed the promulgation of a new Constitution, adopted after a broad popular referendum, which included its citizens residing abroad, in order to improve the institutionalization of the country and the strengthening of socialist democracy, as well as progress in the computerization of society, with greater access of the population to 3G and 4G technologies and positive steps towards the implementation of electronic government throughout the country.”

Ambassador Alvarez and her husband with Ugandan Ambassador H.E. MS. Mirjam Blaak.

Moreover, the Ambassador also praised “the discreet behavior and growth of the Cuban economy, which is inserted in the trends of the region. The truly exceptional thing is that Cuba has not fallen under the pressure of the terrible measures described, the financial persecution and the impact of adverse meteorological phenomena.” Listing other advances made by Cuba in 2019, Ms. Núñez mentioned “the notable increase of up to three times, on average, of the salary of workers in the budgeted sector”, as well as “the successful celebration of the 500th anniversary of the foundation of Havana, capital of the country.” 

“The year 2019 has also been a positive and intense year in the results achieved by Cuban foreign policy” – the Ambassador continued. “We can highlight for instance the links with the European Union and its Member States in different spheres, including the commercial economic, investment, and cooperation ones.” 

H.E. Ms. Fernando Arias, OPCW Director General, H.E. Ms. Soraya Alvarez Núñez, and her husband, Ing. Eduardo Morales.

Finally, Ms. Núñez dwelled on the bilateral relations between Cuba and the Netherlands. “It is a timely opportunity to recognize the good state of bilateral relations between Cuba and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which ratified last November the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Cuba and the European Union, as well as its sustained and historic support to the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, which condemns and calls to put end of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on my country.”

Moreover, the Ambassador noted, “during 2020, we will have the honor of celebrating the 118th anniversary of uninterrupted diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.” 

After the impressive welcome speech given by Ambassador Alvarez Nunez, attentively followed by all guests, the Cuban embassy provided a tasty Cuban cuisine buffet, prepared by the Cuban chef, Lester Fernandez Chapotin. His “ropa vieja” and “dulce de coco” were among the most popular dishes of the night.

Throughout the event, the guests enjoyed Cuban beverages (mojito), excellent cigars, and the music of Proyecto Musical, under the leadership of Jorge Martinez Galan, Trio Salsa de Pichon, from Cuba.

Jorge Martinez Galan, Trio Salsa de Pichon from Cuba.

The traditional two-hours reception became a four-hours celebration, full of meaningful discussions among the Cuban embassy team and their hundreds of friends and international supporters.
On the whole, the event was a dazzling anniversary for the Glorious Cuban Revolution.  

In collaboration with Diplomat Magazine & Diplomatic Card.

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