APPG on Cuba welcomes new ambassador

Campaign News | Monday, 20 May 2024

Her Excellency Ismara Mercedes Vargas Walter with members of the APPG

Her Excellency Ismara Mercedes Vargas Walter with members of the APPG

A busy meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Cuba welcomed the new Cuban Ambassador, Her Excellency Ismara Mercedes Vargas Walter, to the UK on Tuesday 14 May. Nearly 20 MPs and Lords, from across the house, attended to hear Ismara address British Parliamentarians for the first time, ask questions on the latest situation in Cuba and discuss working together in the coming months and years.

Ismara highlighted that Britain and Cuba provide evidence that two countries, despite political differences, can enjoy good relations based on mutual respect. She praised the work of the APPG in helping to foster such good relations, referencing the campaign to nominate the Henry Reeve Brigade for the Nobel Peace Prize and the early day motion tabled in 2021 on the blockade. “I have heard great things about the work of this APPG from previous ambassadors to the UK and I hope we can continue working together with the same passion and commitment” she told attendees. The new ambassador requested two things from the Parliamentarians in attendance. Firstly to continue raising the issue of Cuba, particularly with counterparts from the US, and secondly to visit Cuba themselves and see the country and the people first hand.

Questions from Claudia Webbe MP, Lord Dubs and Paula Barker MP centred on the possibility of positive movements in relation to the lifting of the blockade, particularly in the context of the upcoming US presidential election. While Ismara expressed caution, she noted that there are citizens, organisations and groupings in the US who want to see positive change in the government’s policy towards Cuba. She reiterated the longstanding Cuban position that they are ready to engage further with the US government, under the principles of mutual respect. Expressing a wish to see further exchange between British and Cuban parliamentarians, Baroness Hooper raised the possibility of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) facilitating a delegation of her Cuban colleagues to visit the UK in the near future.

| top | back | home |
Share on FacebookTweet this