**Title: Zimbabwe Welcomes Cuban VP Amidst Economic Challenges, No Western Sanctions**
In a significant diplomatic visit, Cuban Vice President Salvador Valdes Mesa has arrived in Zimbabwe, representing President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez. The visit, aimed at strengthening bilateral ties, comes at a time when Zimbabwe faces economic challenges, despite not having direct sanctions from the West.
Cuban Charge D’Affaires, Ambassador Yenielys Vilma Regueiferos Linares, highlighted the enduring friendship between the two nations and expressed gratitude for Zimbabwe’s support during Cuba’s economic blockade. She emphasized collaborative efforts in health and education, pointing out the presence of Cuban medical brigades and lecturers in Zimbabwe.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava acknowledged the strong bonds formed during Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle and commended Cuba’s contributions to the nation’s education and health sectors. However, critics point out that after 44 years since Cuba sponsored Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle with millions of dollars, the nation has little to show for all that toil. Despite facing challenges, Shava expressed Zimbabwe’s eagerness to broaden cooperation, including trade and investment.
Ambassador Shava also informed Cuban officials of Zimbabwe’s aspiration for a United Nations Security Council seat in the 2027-2028 cycle, seeking Cuba’s assistance in garnering support.
Critics, however, question the economic impact of the visit, pointing out that Zimbabwe, unlike Cuba, does not face direct sanctions from the West but rather restrictive measures against specific individuals. Skepticism arises as Zimbabwe grapples with economic issues, and observers await tangible outcomes from the diplomatic exchange to address the nation’s challenges.