THE Cuban Embassy in Manila will be shutting down because of financial difficulties, according to former Cuban Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Rey Jimenez.
In a forum organized by the Philippine-Cuba Friendship Club last week, Jimenez stressed that the global economic crisis has taken its toll on the embassy. Filipinos who would like to transact with Cuba will have to communicate with its embassy in Kuala Lumpur instead.
Dr. Francisco Nemenzo, former president of the University of the Philippines and a member of the club, said Cuba and the Philippines have a shared history, as both countries were colonized by Spain for centuries and gained independence from Spanish rule in the late 1800s.
In the 1960s, after Fidel Castro and his fellow communists won the revolution in Cuba, the United States imposed a commercial, economic, and financial embargo in retaliation to Cuba’s nationalization of the properties of American citizens and corporations in South America.
“We took separate roads only in 1959 when Cuba took the path to socialism while the Philippines remained under America’s sphere of influence,” Nemenzo said.
Corazon Fabros, another member of the club, said Cuba recognizes the close kinship between them and the Philippines. Last year, however, the Philippine embassy in Cuba likewise closed down, signaling the same for the counterpart embassy.
Bernice Camille V. Bauzon