The Herald (Harare)

21 August 2009

Zimbabwe: Build on Revolution Legacy, Country Told

Harare — Zimbabwe must build on the legacy of the liberation war and the land revolution in its endeavours to become a regional and global economic powerhouse, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said on Wednesday.

Speaking after meeting the outgoing Cuban Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Cosme Torres Espinosa, who had called on him at his Munhumutapa offices to bid him farewell, DPM Mutambara said it was imperative to respect the values of the liberation struggle.

"I want to emphasise our Government is rooted in the liberation war and we don't question the essence of that revolution and the essence of the land revolution.

"We have to build on the legacy of the liberation war and land revolution. "We are building on the foundation of the revolution and the support we are getting from Cuba."

He said it was time for the country to move up the global economic value chain by manufacturing and processing goods for national, regional and international markets.

DPM Mutambara described his discussion with Ambassador Espinosa as "profitable" and acknowledged the historical links between Zimbabwe and Cuba, saying Havana was a key supporter of the liberation struggle.

"After independence, Cuba was involved in the country's health sector, providing and training doctors and health professionals," he said.

The two also discussed how to survive in an environment of illegal sanctions as Cuba had now withstood 50 years under an economic embargo.

"It was a fruitful discussion indeed. Cuba has been under sanctions for 50 years and we are under those sanctions. So we discussed the survival tactics under sanctions.

"We also discussed how the two countries could strengthen their collaboration in areas of science and technology, agriculture and industry. We can learn from Cuba's experiences."

DPM Mutambara and Ambassador Espinosa also discussed how the two countries could increase ties with emerging markets in the face of the global financial crisis.

"In the face of Western domination, Cuba is a beacon of hope against imperialism. Cuba is fighting to remove sanctions in their country and Zimbabwe is doing the same," he said.

DPM Mutambara, a self-professed admirer of Che Guevara, expressed his intention to visit Cuba to learn more about its successful resistance to American sanctions.

"We have a lot to learn from Cuba which started its revolution in 1959. We will continue with our solidarity, continue with the struggle and strengthen our co-operation," he added.

Ambassador Espinosa said he was very proud to have had an opportunity to work in Zimbabwe. He was confident that Zimbabwe and Cuba's relations would continue to grow.

"We shall continue sharing experiences with our comrades and friends from Zimbabwe," he said, adding that Cuba would enhance the training of Zimbabwean health care professionals. Yesterday Ambassador Espinosa met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who said the inclusive Government has the capacity to overcome the challenges it is facing at the moment. PM Tsvangirai said the inclusive Government was a mirror of hope for the Zimbabwean people.

"The inclusive Government is faced with a number of challenges, some of them related to the political, social and economic situation. We are, however, in a good position to overcome these challenges," he said.

PM Tsvangirai said the inclusive Government had also brought hope to the people of Zimbabwe.

"The inclusive Government has become a mirror of hope for Zimbabweans and will continue to work for the improvement of our people's lives," he said.

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