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Ambassador Jayatilleka meets Cuban Ambassador: From courtesy call to long political conversation


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On December 5, Ambassador Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka paid a courtesy call on the Ambassador of Cuba, Gerardo Penalver Portal, son of a founder of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba. The Cuban Ambassador served as Director General on bilateral relations, coordinating Europe, Canada, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa-Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, before he assumed his duties in Moscow.

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka was welcomed in the Embassy of Cuba with numerous photos of Fidel and works of art on the walls. 

The Cuban Ambassador said that he follows the political situation in Sri Lanka and is well aware of the speeches by President Maithripala Sirisena. Ambassador Dr. Jayatilleka informed the Ambassador that he had met the current President of Cuba in Paris at the time when Miguel Díaz-Canel served as Minister of Higher Education of Cuba and made a profound speech at UNESCO.  

Ambassador Penalver Portal shared reminiscences about Fidel Castro and his idea to create embassies in as many places as possible, the so-called ‘Embassies net’, as it was national security matter and the way to support the truth about Cuba in the face of a mass media system which was dominated and manipulated by the empire. The Cuban Ambassador also spoke about Celia Sánchez, the ‘inventor of State Protocol of Cuba’, and her idea that Cuba’s embassies should present the image and style of being authentically “fine, yet modest, even humble”. 

The two Heads of Missions had a long discussion on the global political situation, President Putin’s new formula presented at the G-20 meeting of ‘RIC’ – Russia, India, China – and the value of such a prospect, signaling a global shift of economic power. 

At the end of the meeting, the Cuban Ambassador expressed his desire to return the visit and invited Ambassador Jayatilleka and his wife to watch a documentary film on Cuba which was directed and narrated by the grandson of the former First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union Anastas Mikoyan. The presentation of the film will be held in the Victory Museum on the Great Patriotic War which Ambassador Jayatilleka has already visited earlier.

 


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