A landmark agreement on Visa Exemption was signed today between the Government of the Republic of Fiji and Government of the Republic of Cuba which will enable nationals of the two countries with the valid diplomatic and official passports to enter, remain, transit through and exit without a visa for a period of 90 days.

Fiji and Cuba Visa Exemption Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was officially signed today between the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Immigration and Sugar Industry and Acting Permanent Secretary Foreign Affairs, Mr Yogesh Jitendra Karan and the Ambassador of Cuba to Fiji, His Excellency Carlos Manuel Rojas Lago.PS Karan said cooperation on Visa Exemption signifies the friendship and enhanced bilateral engagements between Fiji and Cuba since the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 2002.

He said that the discussions on Visa Exemption was first initiated through the Honourable Prime Minister, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama’s official visit to Cuba in October 2019; during which, PM Bainimarama held bilateral meetings with the President of Cuba, His Excellency Miguel Díaz-Canel.

In commending the innovative partnerships, PS Karan thanked the Government of Cuba for its support towards areas such as health, agriculture, climate change and sports.

“Such collaboration has enabled six of the 21 Fijian Medical students in Cuba, graduating and they will contribute meaningfully to Fiji’s workforce and our health sector. I would like to thank you for all the assistance you have given us over the years.

“Once we are out of COVID 19 pandemic situation, we would also like to see high level visits from Cuba to Fiji and to the Pacific. There is potential for greater collaboration between our two countries and we would like to see that these bilateral cooperation reach greater heights,” PS Karan said.

Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Fiji, His Excellency Carlos Manuel Rojas Lago conveyed his appreciation to the Fijian Government for the swift assistance in coordinating the negotiation process for the Visa Exemption.

“We are witnessing today a historical moment in the relationship between Cuba and Fiji.

This Agreement on Visa Exemption, for the holders of diplomatic and official passports, will contribute towards the strengthening of our bilateral ties.

“The MOU will strengthen the bilateral and political dialogue between the two countries and the engagement between our people – in particular the increase in exchanges of delegations, and also in the promotion of exchanges at technical level, in fields of common interests for the two countries, such as health care, sustainable agriculture, sugarcane industry, sports, biotechnology, environmental protection, oceans management and climate change, just to mention a few.

“I also want to highlight the great relevance of this MOU that we are signing today – not only for Cuba and Fiji, but also for our Pacific Islands family; because it will facilitate the development of joint cooperation programs across the Pacific, taking advantage of the opportunities that Cuba has to offer.

In reaffirming Cuba’s commitment to Fiji, Ambassador Carlos Manuel Rojas Lago said that, “We hope to jointly conclude by the end of this year the signing of the MOU on Sports, as a field with great potential to be developed.

“I want to reiterate the strong commitment of my country to continue developing the friendship and cooperation with Fiji and one of its most outstanding expressions in the Medical Scholarship Program that just this year resulted in the graduation of 6 new doctors, who will be serving the people of Fiji soon.”

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