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Cuban ambassador visits Nanaimo

Cuban ambassador Teresita Vicente Sotolongo will visit Nanaimo Sunday (May 29) to discuss the Cuban economy.

The ambassador of Cuba to Canada is only making two stops in the province during her visit, one in Vancouver Saturday (May 28) and the other in Nanaimo. She’ll give a presentation at the First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, located at 595 Townsite Rd, from 7-9 p.m.

“I am very eager to visit Nanaimo,” said Vicente Sotolongo. “It will be my first visit, but not the last.”

She said her presentation is to inform people about challenges Cuba faces and its accomplishments as a nation.

She said the country is taking advantage of bio-technology and it has a quality education system and social security system. Some of the challenges include creating a more efficient economy and how to develop Cuba’s socialist society in today’s economic world.

Event organizer Lynne Alton said she’s excited the ambassador is speaking here.

Alton was contacted by Vancouver Communities in Solidarity in Cuba about the ambassador’s visit and was asked if she could arrange for a venue in Nanaimo.

Alton made connections with the organization last spring when she visited Cuba as part of the Ernesta Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade. The project enables Canadians to travel to Cuba and learn about the country’s history, people and economy.

“We decided it’s an honour and it’s too big to pass up,” said Alton. “I’m very pleased. I’m honoured. I’m excited about it and I hope there is a good turnout.”

Tamara Hansen, coordinator of the Vancouver organization, said Cuba is undergoing economic and social changes and the ambassador will discuss how those are affecting the daily lives of people in Cuba.

Alton also hopes to discuss food sustainability. She’s interested in how the U.S. embargo of the country is affecting its food supplies.

The event is open to the public. Donations will be accepted at the door to cover rental and refreshment costs.

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