Cuban Vice President Salvador Valdes Mesa Expected Today in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Welcomes Cuban VP for High-Level Talks and Bilateral Relations Strengthening

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe
Cuban Vice President Zimbabwe Visit

Cuban Vice President Salvador Valdes Mesa is scheduled to arrive in Zimbabwe for a pivotal three-day official visit, marking a significant moment in the diplomatic relations between the two countries. During his stay, VP Mesa is expected to engage in high-level discussions with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Originally, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez was slated to visit Zimbabwe after participating in the G77+ China Summit in Kampala, Uganda. However, VP Mesa will represent Cuba in his place. This visit underscores the enduring ties between Zimbabwe and Cuba, rooted in a shared history and mutual support.

Cuban Charge D’Affaires in Zimbabwe, Ambassador Yenielys Vilma Regueiferos Linares, confirmed VP Mesa’s visit during a courtesy call to the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister of Zimbabwe, Ambassador Frederick Shava. Ambassador Linares noted that following the summits in Uganda, VP Mesa’s visit to Zimbabwe and later Tanzania forms a crucial part of Cuba’s diplomatic outreach in Africa.

The discussions with Minister Shava also focused on strengthening and updating bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Cuba. Both nations have enjoyed decades of diplomatic relations founded on mutual respect and cooperation, especially in the sectors of health and education.

Ambassador Linares expressed gratitude for Zimbabwe’s unwavering support amidst Cuba’s economic challenges, particularly the long-standing economic blockade. She emphasized the fruitful collaboration in health and education, which has seen Cuban medical personnel and educators significantly contribute to Zimbabwe’s development in these sectors.

Zimbabwe’s Ambassador Shava welcomed VP Valdes Mesa’s visit, emphasizing the excellent relations between the two nations. He highlighted Cuba’s significant contribution to Zimbabwe’s education and health sectors since the 1980s, a partnership that has been instrumental in the development of human resources and skills in Zimbabwe.

Ambassador Shava praised the Cuban medical brigades deployed throughout Zimbabwe for their expertise and work ethic, which have been vital in addressing skill shortages in the health sector. He expressed Zimbabwe’s eagerness to expand this cooperation, including the establishment of joint venture pharmaceutical plants in Zimbabwe to manufacture vaccines and medical devices.

Looking ahead, Ambassador Shava expressed hope for broadening cooperation into areas like trade and investment for mutual benefit. He also acknowledged Cuba’s re-election to the United Nations Human Rights Council and requested Cuba’s support for Zimbabwe’s bid for a United Nations Security Council seat for the 2027–2028 cycle.

VP Mesa’s visit to Zimbabwe is more than a diplomatic formality; it represents a deepening of ties and shared visions between two nations with a longstanding history of solidarity. It is a reaffirmation of their commitment to each other and a testament to the strength of South-South cooperation in addressing common challenges and aspirations.

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