Uruguay and Cuba open new era in bilateral relations
Campaign News | Friday, 4 March 2005
New socialist government mends the rift
Montevideo, Mar 3 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque has said the resumption of bilateral diplomatic relations with Uruguay opens a new era of friendship between the two nations, and has called it an act of historical justice.
Talking in Montevideo, where he attended the inauguration of President Tabare Vazquez this week, Pérez Roque said it was very exciting to be in the Uruguayan capital and see the Cuban flags on the streets and at meetings as a sign of the friendly feelings Uruguayans had for Cuba.
By resuming relations with Havana, the administration of President Tabare Vazquez sent a clear message of high esteem for the Cuban revolution and acknowledged the traditional links between the two nations, the minister told Prensa Latina.
He added "this new era in our relations is a clear example of justice that Cuba and Uruguay should have never been apart."
The Cuban minister remarked that our region is living a historical moment, "a new opportunity to accomplish the work of the Liberators toward the real Latin American integration."
Outgoing Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle broke diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2002 after joining the United States political campaign against the Island.
The Cuban foreign minister unveiled the plaque at the entrance of the Cuban embassy which was reopened in Montevideo. The Cuban delegation placed a wreath at the José Martí bust in Cuba Square.
Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque and his Uruguayan counterpart Reinaldo Gargano -with the presence of President Tabaré Vázquez- confirmed they would sign trade agreements to exchange products and services.
Both countries agreed to analyze the signing of an exchange agreement in which Uruguay would supply agricultural and food products and services and receive from Cuba medical-pharmaceutical and biotechnological products, medical equipment and technology transfer.
The Uruguayan foreign minister explained that his country intends to exchange products to benefit both sides, and that it should be a positive relationship that allows Cuba to obtain items it lacks.
Gargano said it is important for Uruguay to be able to purchase Cuban medical products to improve that country?s health system and target the National Social Emergency Plan.
Uruguay March 2: The new socialist government of Uruguay announced Tuesday it is restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba, three years after they were downgraded by then president Jorge Batlle.
Only three hours after taking office as Uruguay's president, Tabare Vazquez presided over the ceremony for the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two Latin American countries.
"We received with pleasure the representatives of the sister nation of Cuba, and wished that relations between both countries had never been severed," said Vazquez.
Then, Uruguayan Foreign Minister Reinaldo Gargano and his Cuban counterpart Felipe Perez signed and exchanged notes on re-establishing the relations.
"It is very good that the nations of Latin America are united,"said Vazquez, the first socialist president of Uruguay.
"The tokens of friendship and solidarity of Uruguay toward Cuba are permanent," Perez said after signing the documents.
Castro had planned to attend the ceremony of presidential inauguration, but cancelled his trip in the last minute on doctor's advice.
Outgoing Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle of the Colorado Party downgraded ties with Cuba in 2002 after a war of words with Cuban leader Fidel Castro following Uruguay's decision to condemn Cuba's human rights record in an annual UN vote in Geneva.
The two countries have maintained consular relations.