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Cuba’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Elio Savon Oliva, is optimistic that Zimbabwe will overcome the illegal Western sanctions imposed on the country in the same manner that the Caribbean island has for more than 50 years. The United States imposed financial, commercial and economic sanctions on Cuba in 1960, two years after Cdes Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara led the overthrow of the Washington-backed Fulgencio Batista puppet regime.

The sanctions on Cuba have cost the Caribbean’s largest island billions of US dollars, and related terror activities by CIA-sponsored and trained militias have led to the loss of numerous lives through bombings and attacks on civilian air-craft.

Zimbabwe too, according to ZANU-PF’s highly subscribed 2013 election manifesto, has lost more than US$40 billion because of American sanctions over the past decade.

Ambassador Oliva and his wife Mrs Dlores Meras Morejon -who is also a diplomat – met Acting President Joice Mujuru in Harare yesterday and said Zimbabwe too could beat sanctions.

“Zimbabwe can also overcome illegal sanctions as Cuba did. Cuba will continue supporting Zimbabwe to overcome this embargo,” Ambassador Oliva said.

He said Cuba had survived through unity of purpose among citizens and support from the international community.

The overwhelming majority of the United Nations membership has for more than 20 years voted for an end to the embargo on Cuba, with only the US, Israel and the Marshall Islands supporting the sanctions.

Similarly, much of the world – including SADC, Comesa, the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Pan-African Parliament and the SADC Parliamentary Forum, among others – have called for an end to sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The sanctions on Zimbabwe were imposed after the 2000 Fast-Track Land Reform Programme that sought to adjust colonially skewed tenure patterns.

Ambassador Oliva said his meeting with Acting President Mujuru was to reinforce bilateral relations.

He said Cuba was also implementing an economic reform programme similar to the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-sset).

Zimbabwe and Cuba enjoy cordial relations dating to the days of the liberation struggle.

These ties have seen Cuba sending medical personnel to Zimbabwe on a government-to -government arrangement, in addition to training teachers.

Source : The Herald

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