Cuba’s Ambassador to Uganda Presents Seal of Friendship to Hon. Oryem Henry Okello from the Government of Cuba

Minister of State for International Affairs, Hon. Oryem Henry Okello, was today presented with a commemorative “Seal of Friendship” from the Vice President of Cuba, delivered by the Ambassador of Cuba to Uganda, H.E. Tania Perez.

The Commemorative Seal, according to Amb. Perez, was created by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and designed with the objective of “recognizing in an exceptional way and on a single occasion, those members of the Movement of Solidarity with Cuba, who have pursued activities in defense of the Cuban Revolution, contributing to spread the truth about its political, social, and economic transformation, and to strengthen friendship between the peoples of the world.” It was being presented to Hon. Okello for his unconditional friendship with Cuba and his historic contribution to relations between Uganda and Cuba for the last 20 years.

Accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Joyce Okello, a visibly emotional Okello said, as he received the seal, that he was proud to be the recipient of such a symbol of recognition from the Cuban people. “Cuba is not just any ordinary country for a pan-Africanist,” he said, describing the feeling as “…more valuable than anything.” Hon. Okello said he had for many years admired Cuba as a source of inspiration to many countries, having had the fortitude to fight against imperialism and for the independence of other African countries. “In spite of its economic hardships, Cuba has stood by countries of the South at great sacrifice of her people in spite of facing a 60-year commercial and financial embargo by the United States,” he said. Uganda and Cuba established diplomatic relations on 9 May 1974.

Since then, the two countries enjoy cordial relations, characterized by high-level exchange of visits by both sides, establishment of Diplomatic Missions in both countries, and support for each other in multilateral fora. There are currently a number of MoUs in health, education, trade and investment, and agriculture that encompass the diplomatic relations of both countries.

Uganda hosted the 19th NAM and Third South Summits in Kampala, back to back, from 15th to 23 January 2024 to which Cuba sent a high-level delegation led by H.E. Valdes Mesa, Vice President of the Republic of Cuba. Uganda also took over the of Chairmanship of the Group of 77 plus China from the Republic of Cuba for the period 2024. Cuba has and continues to share the best practices on G77 Chairmanship with Uganda.

Amb. Xiques described the Summit as “successful execution”, particularly recognizing that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was able to run a bilateral program parallel to the Summit. Speaking to journalists who attended the event, Amb. Tania Xiques announced that in May 2024 Cuba has planned a celebration to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations with Uganda.