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Jan 24, 2017

The Cuban Revolution, 58 Years Later

Over the years, hundreds of Belizeans students have benefited from educational opportunities in Cuba.   Likewise, many have taken advantage of medical care provided by Cuban doctors and nurses in Belize.  On Friday, in commemoration of the Fifty-eight Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, a few prominent Belizeans who either lived or studied in Cuba, paid tribute to El Comandante Fidel Castro.  They highlighted his role in developing and nurturing a shared bond with both countries.  Tonight, we look at the expression of gratitude from the Belizean public.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Belize’s bilateral relationship with Cuba is a mutually beneficial partnership that has only strengthened over time.  The close ties between both countries have seen an exchange of sorts where students interested in pursuing tertiary education in medicine and engineering are given the opportunity to further their studies abroad.  On the other hand, Belize has welcomed teams of Cuban nurses and doctors into its health sector.  Not limited to the sciences, Belize has also benefited from healthy cultural exchange.


Greg Vernon

Greg Vernon, Interim President, NICH

“We are definitely looking forward to a further relationship in developing further what I have felt from the people and the Republic of Cuba in my career development.  And with this, we look forward in visiting Cuba in developing a good relationship in trade, in culture, in education, in sports, in youth development, that we have spoken about in our meeting that we had.  This is a most significant part of our development, especially with where our youths are today.  We’re definitely in need of focus and I think that the Cuban revolution has done just that.”


On Friday night, Belizeans paid homage to that friendliness shared with Cuba in remembrance of the fifty-eighth anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.  Students from St. John’s College History Club honored the late Comandante Fidel Castro through art, as well as literature.


Yasser Musa

Yasser Musa, History Teacher, SJC

“He drew an outstanding drawing with pencil of Fidel Castro in his early years as a revolutionary and Jalen wrote a letter on behalf of the history to the people of Cuba and I would like to invite him before we present the two gifts to read, if we have time, maybe the last paragraph.”


Jalen, Participant

“Pleasant goodnight everyone, “There’s one place where Fidel Castro’s Cuba stands out head and shoulders above the rest, that is in its love for human rights and liberty.  These words of the great Nelson Mandela perfectly summarizes how we at St. John’s College, and by large the people of Belize, feel towards the inspirational hero Fidel Castro.  His contributions to the development of Belize through the continuous education of young people is one that we are extremely appreciative for.  As the world continues to mourn the passing of Fidel Castro, we offer prayers and support to the Cuban people.”


A former medical student who studied in Cuba before being assigned for work to the far reaches of the island nation shared a brief testimonial of his time in the country.



“Personally, I feel part of the revolution since I had the privilege of living in Cuba for twelve years.  I was one of the lucky ones to have been awarded a scholarship to study in Cuba.  I will share some of my experiences that I lived there.  What impacted me the most is the love and  appreciation Cubans have for the late Comandante Fidel Castro.  That could be felt when you talk to Cubans and at the many acts that I attended where hundreds of thousands would be out showing their support to Fidel and the revolution.  While in Cuba the first two years were spent at ELAM, Escuela Latina Americana, were like a period of adaptation, many workers took care of us as their children and were always there to help and guide us.  I had the opportunity to specialize and was sent to a very remote village where we lived as part of the community and serving as their family doctor.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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