Recently appointed, Cuban Ambassador, Her Excellency, Teresita Vincente, along with her husband, Antonio Rodriguez made her first visit to Scotland recently.


On Monday 20th April, they attended the STUC Congress in Ayr. After speaking to a packed Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign Fringe, 'The Miami Five are Free. Now End the Blockade!' Teresita addressed Congress. She expressed gratitude for the support shown by the STUC for the Campaign to Free the Five, and stressed the importance of International Solidarity efforts in achieving their freedom. She also reiterated the importance of ending the Embargo, and of the moves towards the normalisation of relations between the US and Cuba.

 

On Tuesday 21st April, Teresita and Tony visited the Scottish Parliament, where they were hosted by Elaine Smith MSP, Convener of the Cross Party Group on Cuba. They attended part of members' business, and the Presiding Officer welcomed the Ambassador to the Parliament. They then met formally with the Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick, MSP.

Elaine Smith had tabled the following motion:


S4M-12962 Elaine Smith: US Removes Cuba from Terrorism List—That the Parliament welcomes the Cuban Ambassador, Her Excellency Mrs Teresita Vicente Sotolongo, who will visit the Parliament for the first time on 21 April 2015; considers that the visit is taking place at a historic time for Cuba, given the recent decision by the US to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism; understands that the move by the US is seen as a key step to normalise relations between the US and Cuba; recognises that the announcement came days after President Obama and the Cuban President, Raul Castro, met on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas in Panama, marking the first formal meeting between the leaders of their countries in a half-century; congratulates President Obama on his efforts to normalise relations with Cuba and his attempts to end the five-decade Cuban embargo, however considers that more work needs to be done to ensure that Cuba is supported and treated fairly by its neighbours.


Their visit wound up with a meeting of the Cross Party Group on Cuba, chaired by Elaine, attended by MSPs , SCSC members and supporters and members of the public.