Kuala Lumpur & the surroundings
By: bandar sungailong

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Welcoming the new Cuban Ambassador to Malaysia

Ambassador & King
Ambassador & King
The new envoys
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Kuala Lumpur 25 Oct 2007

On this day we welcome the new Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Malaysia, HE Carlos A Amores who takes over from the previous ambassador, Pedro Monzon.

Earlier in the day, Ambassador Amores was at the Istana Negara to present his credentials to the Yang Di Pertuan Agong. Together with him that morning were other new envoys who were also there to present their credentials.

Later in the evening, the new ambassador hosted a reception at his residence in conjunction with the ceremony held earlier at the King's Palace.

Berita Harian published a news article of the new ambassador. Following is the article translated to English:

[/quote]Berita Harian dated 25th October 2007
Together with the Diplomat: Malaysia accurately potrays 'Truly Asia'
by Jamhariah Jaafar

Cuban Ambassador to Malaysia, Carlos Alfredo Amores Balbin

New Ambassador is determined to continue the legacy of Monzon in strengthening the good relationship in this country.

The uniqueness of Malaysia with her diverse communities is among the first things that attracts the attention of the foreigner who steps foot into Malaysia for the first time.

Many are amazed to see how Malaysia not only succeed in uniting all the communities under the leadership of an administration that consists of 14 different racial political parties, an opposition party which is also of diverse racial groups, but also all the races are allowed to practice their own language, culture and religion freely.

Among those who expressed such amazement is the new Cuban Ambassador to Malaysia, Carlos A Amores because it is his first time serving in a country of multiracial communities each practicing its own culture and religion, as well as living in harmony as a family under one administration.

"Before coming here, I had already known about Malaysia. However the knowledge was through reading about it, compared with the experience of being here really makes me overwhelmed.
"In Cuba we have different ethnic groups including the Chinese, the blacks, white and brown, but all are Cubans and speak one language that is Spanish and follow one lifestyle as a Cuban.

"But in Malaysia, your slogan ’Malaysia Truly Asia’ really proves it. Malaysians are extraordinary because they are able to live as a nation under one roof without any major problem.

"Most important, this country succeeded in achieving equality among the races. This is certainly the most valuable lesson for every foreigner like us," said the ambassador who has only been in Kuala Lumpur for five weeks.

Amores actually has known about Malaysia since joining the Cuban Foreign Ministry in the early 1990s. Through reading, he has come to know about her ability, development and the country’s participation in the international arena.

As such, the first time he was truly amazed with Malaysia was when he was hearing the speech of Prime Minister of Malaysia at that time, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who fiercely criticized the super powers at the platform of the United Nations Organisation.

Before this, he said, he had only seen his President Fidel Castro, without any fear, not only at the expense of their country continuing to be sanctioned economically, politically as well as socially, to direct criticisms at the United States which he accuses of having an agenda against the socialist state.

"I was truly surprised to hear the speech of Dr Mahathir at the General Assembly of the United Nations. Before this, I had always thought that only the Cuban leader was brave enough to criticize the US and UN, clearly I was mistaken because Dr Mahathir is very similar to Castro – both are very brave," he explained regarding the former Prime Minister who is truly fearless at the international platform.

Amores had been here before for a while in Kuala Lumpur in 1994. 13 year later as the Cuban Ambassador to Malaysia here, he cannot help but feel amazed with the development and the immense economic growth, in view that the country had also gone through the bad economic crisis in 1997/1998.

"Before returning here, I have read a lot about Malaysia, but obviously a lot of my books and reading materials about this country were more than 20 years outdated. In my mind the development of Malaysia was similar to some of the other Latin American countries.

Obviously my opinion was incorrect, the changes that had taken place is very awesome. Obviously you have succeeded in recovering from the crisis of 1998, even though without having to follow the recipe of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and not many countries dare to go against them," he said.

He also said that after having been through economic, political and social sanctions for more than 50 years and having faced various threats to change the administration regime of Castro, the people of Cuba are indeed the most vocal critics of the unilateral attitude of the US and the international agencies that are under them.

Back to his mission as the ambassador replacing Pedro Monzon who had undertaken various programs to introduce the popular country with cigars and the samba dance, Amores said that his task is to continue the solid foundation that had been laid by Monzon.

"Cuba regards Malaysia as among the good friends, even more when we have just taken over the task as Chairman of NAM from Malaysia and both countries as Chairman and past Chairman of NAM are the members of the Troika which will seriously ensure the intentions of its member countries.

"Monzon certainly has left behind a great impact to the many people of Malaysia. My mission is to continue with his work and to find more ways to enhance the relationship between both countries especially in the field of economics," explained the ambassador who is 43 this year.

Up till now among the principal exports of Cuba to Malaysia are products based on tobacco and various types of medical products.

Among the attractive products is the vaccine against cancer, where the Clinical Research Center in this country is carrying out clinical tests involving EGF (Epidemic Growth Factor) vaccine.

"This is indeed a new vaccine that has been found to retard the cancer cells from multiplying, thereby restricting the cancer from spreading rapidly. At this moment the tests have entered the second stage and we hope that it will help to overcome the cancer disease that appears to be getting serious among the people of Malaysia," he said.

What is clear is that although he has been in Kuala Lumpur for only five weeks, Amores is very quick to establish relationships with all concerned.

His presentation of credentials to the Yang diPertuan Agong this morning followed by a reception tonight to introduce him self is one of the first steps this young ambassador will take to popularize again Cuba in the eyes of the Malaysian people.

"I am sure the four years stay in Malaysia will pass very quickly. The time has come for me to draw closer this bilateral relationship that is ever growing stronger," said Amores.[quote]

Welcome to Malaysia Your Excellency and best wishes to you and your family. Have a pleasant stay here in our country.

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