The Liberian Government has assured the Government of Cuba that with the reopening of its Embassy in Monrovia, relations between the two countries will become stronger and more intensive.
“We look forward to working closely with the Embassy and the Government of Cuba to deepen the relationship and to cement longstanding friendship that we have enjoyed through the Non-Aligned Movement, Group of 77, and other international fora,” the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Sylvester Grigsby said.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Mr. Grigsby made the assertion on behalf of the Liberian Government when the Republic of Cuba officially reopened its Embassy in Liberia on Friday, December 9.
He noted that Cuba’s presence in Liberia has reignited the ties between both countries and manifested the fruits of direct diplomatic access.
He recalled the excellent relations Cuba and Liberia enjoy, noting that Cuba has been very helpful to Liberia in times of need.
Mr. Grigsby, who was once Deputy Foreign Minister, recounted Cuba’s assistance in the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, when it deployed doctors and health workers along with international partners to Liberia.
“The doctors played a very singular role in kicking Ebola out of Liberia,” he said, adding, that the Liberian Government and people will remain grateful.
On October 22, 2014, Cuba deployed a 53-member medical contingent to help in the global effort to contain and successfully eradicate the deadly Ebola Virus Disease from Liberia.
He also highlighted the numerous scholarships Cuba provides Liberians in various disciplines, including sports, medicine, among others, as well as its offer to send doctors to the country to provide services to the Liberian people.
For his part, the Director-General of Bilateral Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Ambassador Gerardo Peñalver Poral, who is visiting the country for this event, said the reopening of his country’s embassy near Monrovia will promote friendship, mutual understanding, respect and the cooperation between the two countries.
He assured that the Cuban Embassy will work to cement the friendly ties subsisting between both countries as well as explore and encourage cultural, economic, scientific and sporting relations among its people.
Ambassador Poral noted that every new step to strengthen bilateral between Cuba and Liberia will count on the support of both governments and people for its best implementation.
“The reopening of the Embassy of Cuba in Liberia and the accreditation of a Liberian Ambassador to Havana, opens a path for the work of this diplomatic mission in order to strengthen bilateral relations,” he emphasized.
The Director-General of Bilateral Relations at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed heartfelt gratitude for the multiple demonstrations of solidarity received, including messages written in the Book of Condolence opened at its Embassy for the passing of its historical leader and Commander of the Cuban Revolution, Mr. Fidel Castro Ruz.
“We are especially thankful for the condolence message sent by the President of Liberia, Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to the Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz,” he acknowledged.
To climax the occasion, the Cuban Embassy Charges d‘Affaires, Mr. Yordenie Despaigne Vera raised his country’s flag at the Embassy premises signaling its official return to Liberia.
Liberia and Cuba established diplomatic relations on April 19, 1974. Until 2003, when Cuba decided to condense its mission in the region and placed Monrovia under the concurrency of Accra, Cuba maintained its diplomatic presence in Liberia.
In September 2015, former Cuban Ambassador, Jorge Fernando Lefebre Nicolas, accredited near Monrovia but resident in Accra, Ghana informed Liberia that his Government had taken the decision to reopen its mission in Monrovia.
Shortly thereafter, Mr. Yordenis Despaigne Vera was designated as the Charge d’Affaires.