Cuban Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. Ms. Liurka Rodríguez Barrios has reiterated the cooperation, friendship and diplomatic relations between the Republic of Cuba and the Kingdom Cambodia established since April 15, 1960.

In her interview with the National Television of Cambodia (TVK) this morning, H.E. Ms. Liurka Rodríguez Barrios said these relationships have passed all tests.

“Even geographical distance has not been an impediment. These ties have been one of the legacies of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, and King Norodom Sihanouk. Both were also founders of the Non-Aligned Movement and their ideas of progress, peace and justice contributed to mutual respect and admiration,” she said.

Throughout these six decades, she recalled, bilateral relations treasure indelible moments, such as the opening of the Cuban Embassy in Cambodia by Raúl Valdés Vivó in 1967, in the midst of a war for national independence. Melba Hernández, the Hero of Moncada, was credited here on Mar. 23, 1979 as the first female Ambassador of Cuba in Cambodia, concurrent from Vietnam. That is another memorable moment in relations between our countries. Both leaders, now deceased, were key figures in the history of the Cuban Revolution, she said.

“Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen visited Cuba in 1999 and held a meeting of more than 10 hours with Fidel and received from him the José Martí Order, the highest decoration conferred by the Republic of Cuba,” continued the Cuban diplomat. “Last year, he had planned to visit Cuba a third time as Head of Government, in recent March, but due to the situation of COVID-19 around the world, that trip was canceled.”

Currently, she pointed out, there is a high level of agreement between the two nations at the multilateral level, with manifest mutual support in international forums and organisations. Cambodia, for example, has consistently and firmly voted against the United States’ blockade of Cuba, which it calls unfair and immoral.

“We have very close parliamentarian relationships, expressed through the exchange of visits and mutual support in the international arena. The Parliamentary Friendship Group Cambodia-Cuba is very dynamic. The Cuban Communist Party and Cambodian People’s Party agreed to work together to improve the historical friendly relations between both organisations. This was a result of an exchange of experiences and information,” she confirmed.

On the cultural level, H.E. Ms. Liurka Rodríguez Barrios added, the exchange has also been relevant. Cambodia, formerly known as the Republic of Kampuchea, was a source of inspiration for the distinguished filmmaker Santiago Álvarez who titled one of his documentaries “I have faith in you”, after visiting the country in difficult times. In the summer of 2016, the First Dancer of the National Ballet of Cuba and its current director, Viengsay Valdés, made a masterful presentation in which His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni participated.

According to the ambassador, Cambodia and Cuba have shared historical relations with the focus on medical brigades, and the training of human resources. Collaboration in education between the island and the kingdom has been one of the pillars of diplomatic ties for 60 years. More than two hundred Cambodians have studied in Cuba in the field of medical specialties, engineering, agronomy, and languages. Cuba provides scholarship programmes for Cambodian youths to study medicine, annually. Some of them are working with the Cuban medical team to fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the principal Cambodian leaders, Education is considering as one of the island’s most valuable contributions to the country’s progress and to the friendship that both nations profess, she added.

Cambodia is the first country where H.E. Ms. Liurka Rodríguez Barrios has been designated as the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba. “I have studied the history of this country for many years, and I am moved by how, despite how hard it has been to struggle, dreams of peace advance and become consolidated. Today, I also consider that the Kingdom’s confrontation with COVID-19 that hits almost the entire planet is worth admiring. Despite not having sophisticated health equipment, they have managed to mitigate the impact and recovery of the vast majority of patients. The vaccination plan to immunise 80 percent of Cambodia population before end of the year is admirable. The government has a very appreciate strategic to combat against the virus,” she stressed.

“Last year, Cuba and Cambodia celebrated the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations and Covid-19 prevented to do big activities, but what it cannot do was weaken our friendship. A friendship as old and strong as ours is immune to viruses,” said H.E. Ms. Ambassador

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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