Zimbabwe and Cuba: Resilience Amid Sanctions and Solidarity

by Victor Adetimilehin

Zimbabwe and Cuba, two nations that have endured decades of economic sanctions and Western isolation, have reasserted their historic ties and pledged to collaborate in various domains, including healthcare, biotechnology, and trade. These nations, bound by shared experiences of adversity, resilience, and mutual support, have demonstrated their commitment to development and solidarity on the global stage.

The relationship between Zimbabwe and Cuba is steeped in history, rooted in the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe against colonial rule. In 1980, Cuba became one of the first countries to recognize Zimbabwe’s independence, cementing close political and diplomatic ties. Both nations are members of the Group of 77 (G77) and China, a coalition comprising 134 developing countries advocating for the interests and rights of the Global South. The G77 and China convened their summit in Havana from September 16-17, with a focus on science, technology, and innovation for sustainable development.

Zimbabwe and Cuba have forged significant cooperation in the realm of healthcare. Cuba has extended valuable assistance and expertise to Zimbabwe, deploying 14 medical brigades comprised of 15 specialists across the African nation. Moreover, Cuban medical schools have provided training to hundreds of Zimbabwean doctors. During the summit, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Frederick Shava engaged with Cuba’s Vice President Salvador Valdes and Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda, expressing a shared interest in joint initiatives in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Cuba’s noteworthy advancements in these fields include the production of vaccines and medications for diverse diseases, including cancer.

The potential for collaboration extends to trade, an arena constrained by sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies against both countries. These sanctions have restricted access to markets, financial resources, technology, and development aid. Nevertheless, Zimbabwe and Cuba have voiced their readiness to explore fresh opportunities for commercial ties, particularly in sectors such as agriculture, mining, tourism, and education. Additionally, they have called for the removal of unilateral coercive measures that contravene international law and human rights.

Despite the formidable challenges they confront, Zimbabwe and Cuba remain steadfast in their pursuit of development objectives while upholding their sovereignty and dignity. They also stand in solidarity with other developing nations within the G77 and China coalition, amplifying their collective voice in advocating for a more equitable and just global order.

Source: Herald

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