58th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution
Pictured H. E. Mrs. Soraya Alvarez Núñez, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and her spouse, Mr. Eduardo Morales Monteagudo.
By Roy Lie A Tjam.
In the days following the presentation of her credentials to HRH King Willem Alexander, Cuba’s new ambassador to the Netherlands, H.E. Soraya Alvarez Núñez, organised a reception to celebrate the 58th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution – which is officially and historically celebrated on the 1st of January every year.
Ambassador Soraya Alvarez Núñez , had the pleasure to make the acquaintance of many of her colleague-ambassadors who came to Hotel Marriott The Hague on 2 February 2017 to felicitate her on this momentous celebration. Among them the ambassadors of Malaysia, Spain, Russia, Georgia and several others. Notable was the presence of the evenly new Haitian Ambassador Mr. Daniel Supplice, stationed in Brussels.
In her welcome remarks, Alvarez Núñez thanked the audience for accepting her invitation, subsequent to which she enumerated the successes and hurdles her beloved country, Cuba, faced during the course of 2016. Ambassador Soraya Alvarez Núñez also paid homage to the departed leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro. A resume of what she said in her discourse follows:
“I have the honor and the pride to represent in this prosperous and beautiful country the Cuban Revolutionary Government and its people who with great optimism and confidence continue to build a prosperous and sustainable model of Socialism, which foundations were laid out and developed by the Historic leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, who worked tirelessly for a dignified and just country for the men and women of Cuba and for a dignified and fair world for the peoples of the world”.
“Fidel’s legacy and thinking goes beyond its physical presence. The best tribute to his ideas that the men and women of Cuba can pay is to make his ideas expressed in the concept of Revolution come true every day”.
“With this premise, Cuba continues to work to achieve its goals for development, to build a fairer and more human society and to exercise its Foreign Policy according to its historic position of principles in defense of peace, self-determination, and the sovereignty of the peoples, to preserve Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, to develop economic and cooperation ties based on respect and mutual benefits with all countries. Likewise, Cuba will continue to exercise its traditional solidarity with the peoples of the world… 2016 was a year particularly emotional and intense for Cuba in all aspects”.
“The economic performance faced financial constraints caused namely by the fall of the exports income brought about by the decrease of the price of some of our main exports, among other internal and external factors, and the substantial damages caused by the devastating hurricane that hit six municipalities in the Eastern damaging several sectors of production and services. This adverse scenario translated in a decrease of the GDP of 0.9%.
“However; amidst this unfavorable environment, Cuba complies with all the obligations undertaken and the social services remain at the same levels of the years before, guaranteeing healthcare, social assistance and education to the people. In this analysis, we cannot leave out the negative effect of the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States, which is still in force.”
“In 2017, it is expected that the GDP will grow 2% and great importance is placed in the need to boost foreign investment.”
“In the international arena in 2016, it is worth mentioning an unprecedented event that took place on February 12th, when the Pope Francis and His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of All Russia met in Havana. It was the first time both religious authorities ever got together.”
“Likewise, from April 16 to April 19, 2016, the Seventh Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC) was held. In the meeting, it was approved a Proposal for the Conceptualization of the Economic and Social Model and the guidelines for the National Plan for Development until 2030 were outlined”.
“Under the maxim “Promoting the sustainable development of the Greater Caribbean,” the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) held its Summit in June 2016, which was attended by State members and associates, as well as high-level Representatives such as Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who held a cordial meeting with President Raul Castro during this time”.
“Other exchanges and visits of high level between Cuba and the Kingdom of the Netherlands also have a positive balance last year. Among them, it is worth mention the visit of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla and Bert Koenders, the mutual Exchange of visits of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands H.E. Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen and the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment of Cuba H.E. Mr. Rodrigo Malmierca”.
“In this same token, the high level visits in different areas such as higher education and business went smoothly and allowed identifying major opportunities for Cuba and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which has greatly contributed to the strengthening of the historic Diplomatic ties between the two countries and the increase of cooperation of mutual benefit for their governments and peoples”.
“It is also worth stressing the significant increase of Dutch citizens visiting Cuba, which has also contributed to the knowledge and approach between the Cuban and the Dutch societies”.
“Finally, I would like to underline the importance Cuba gives to the signature on December 12 of the Agreement to the Political dialogue and Cooperation between Cuba and the European Union, mechanism that will help enrich the historic ties existing in many areas between Cuba and the countries of the bloc, based on mutual respect and understanding.”
This memorable reception took place in a pleasant atmosphere which made it an excellent networking occasion. An authentic Cuban buffet dinner was part of the evening. With open arms, Ambassador Soraya Alvarez Núñez and Mr. Eduardo Morales are welcomed.
Photography by the Embassy of Cuba in The Hague.