By Rubén G. Abelenda
This November 5 I completed a year of stay in Gambia, which reminds me of Cuba because of its climate, and its cheerful and gentle people, despite the shortcomings we face some more than the poor nations of this world, but especially for peace and solidarity that reign in our respective countries, only separated by the Atlantic Ocean.
My arrival in Banjul, its capital, will be very difficult to forget about the hospitality and affection I received from the beginning. It caught my attention as the inhabitants of this West African State smile continuously, amid the serious problems they face.
I understood very soon that the Gambia is called the smiling coast of Africa, not only because its geography resembles a gesture of joy, but especially because children, youth and adults keep that expression on their face almost all the time.
Like Cubans, Gambians struggle daily to overcome various economic difficulties. The first because they face a cruel blockade of the United States for 60 years, and the second to the dire consequences of decades of colonialism and plundering neo-colonialism.
But both peoples maintain their optimism that the future will be better for everyone, with that jocularity that characterizes them, their permanent solidarity, and the extreme defense of peace prevailing in our countries and in the world.
Today a Medical Brigade of the Caribbean Island provides health services in different regions of the Gambia, while they receive from the inhabitants of this African nation something that has a very high price, thanks and affection from human beings.
Although we speak different languages, including the hosts of several native languages, communication between Gambians and Cubans is very fast, another fact that is very curious, although its explanation is very simple: We are united with Africa historical, blood, cultural and cultural roots of struggles, all very deep.
This 2019, soon to say goodbye, 40 years after the establishment of relations between our countries, and surely we will live many more and more closer bilateral ties.
That is the purpose of both peoples, who are committed to continue smiling, overcoming economic challenges, but above all things to live in peace, at a time when in this world a very rich few encourage discords, violent conflicts, and even wars. .
Thanks Gambia for the hospitality, and also the teachings I received during my first year of staying here.
(*) Ambassador of Cuba in Gambia.