Sun | Feb 17, 2019

No Castro, no problem - Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica confident that the relationship between the two countries will remain tight

Published:Sunday | December 30, 2018 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue
Inez Fors Fernandez, Cuba’s ambassador to Jamaica.

Decades after the bond of friendship between Jamaica and Cuba was developed while the late Michael Manley and Fidel Castro were at the helm of their respective countries, Cuba's Ambassador to Jamaica Inez Fors Fernandez has declared that the relationship remains tight.

"Cuba remains a friend of Jamaica. The country, and its people, have the love of the Cuban people," Fors Fernandez told The Sunday Gleaner in an interview last week, days before her country marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

Fors Fernandez spent her first Christmas in Jamaica last week, and expressed pleasure serving as her country's ambassador to Jamaica.

She also thanked the Jamaican people for the warmth and love shown to her since she came here, saying she could easily pass for a Jamaican.

 

A FRIEND TO JAMAICA

 

"You know, Jamaica still has the love of Cuban people. Jamaica has been there with Cuba, and that friendship is the reason why so many Cuban health professionals are here, and teachers, too," said Fors Fernandez.

At present, 291 health professionals work in Jamaica, while 71 Cubans are teaching in state-operated educational institutions,

"You know, many people have said for the first time in 60 years there is no Castro in Cuba. But Jamaicans need not worry that the relationship will not continue, because Jamaica is a friend of Cuba, Cuba is a friend of Jamaica," said Fors Fernadez, as she underscored that the personal friendship between Manley and Fidel Castro brought both countries together.

Fors Fernandez said the relationship between the two countries will be strengthened under new Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who was a toddler during the 1960 revolution which installed Fidel Castro as president.

"The Cuban Revolution is a symbol for most of the developing countries all over the world. We do not have too many resources. We are a poor third-world country, but we have given a lot to most of the developing world, including Jamaica," she said with pride.

"We are people of convictions, principles and values. Education and health are, to me, the two most important human rights. Our relationship with Jamaica started in the 1970s, and in the case of education, 21 years ago in the 1990s.

"Cuba gives a service to the world, and Jamaica will always benefit from Cuba's love," declared Fors Fernandez.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com