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Audio: IV With Cuban Amb. José Luis Robaina Garcia

Scoop Audio + Photos: Scoop Interview With Cuban Ambassador To New Zealand, His Excellency Mr José Luis Robaina Garcia

Interview and Images By Alastair Thompson

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The 1st Cuban Ambassador to New Zealand - HE Mr José Luis Robaina Garcia

HE Mr José Luis Robaina Garcia arrived in New Zealand with little fanfair on Halloween last year and was officially credentialed by the Governor General in early November. Since then he has been busy establishing a little piece of Cuba in Embassy Row in Thorndon - an Embassy which interestingly is Cuba's first in Australasia.

Ambassador Garcia is formerly the head of a diplomatic school in Cuba focussing on Asia and the Pacific. He is a China specialist having spent much of his career there first as a Journalist for Prensa Latina and then later as a diplomat. English is not his favoured language but he is learning fast and will doubtless improve by the time his appointment is due to expire in three years 8 months.

Earlier this month he caught up with the PM Helen Clark at Waitangi and in Wellington he has had audiences with National Leader John Key and Foreign Minister Winston Peters.

Scoop caught up with him today to discuss a wide variety of events including the election of Raul Castro as Cuban President and the historic signing today by the Cuban Foreign Minister in New York of two human rights treaties.

In the half hour interview the audio of which follows below the Ambassador also answered questions about:
- The normalisation of Cuba's Human Rights status by the UN General Assembly and the signing of the 2 treaties today;
- The accession of Raoul Castro to the Cuban Presidency and Cuba's longstanding struggle with the United States;
- How it is that Cuba's first embassy in Australasia has come to New Zealand;
- And, the recent announcement of the provision of medical assistance to the Solomon Islands by Cuba;

  • Scoop Audio: Audio on Demand of an interview with the first Cuban Ambassador to New Zealand José Luis Robaina Garcia.

Interview with José Luis Robaina Garcia Part 1 (24 Mins)

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Interview with José Luis Robaina Garcia Part 2 (6 Mins)

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The new Cuban Ambassador outside his Embassy in Hobson Cresent, Wellington.
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Name: José Luis Robaina García.
Date of Birth: September 20, 1946
Family Married with 1 daughter

Degree in Journalism

Worked as journalist for 20 years in Cuba and Asia, focusing specially on China.

Director for the News Station for Radio Reloj and for the News Service of the ICRT.

Official for the Central Committee of the PCC from 1990 and Head of the Asia Division from 1991 to 1999.

Minister Consular and Deputy Head of Mission in the Popular Republic of China from 1999 to 2004.

Head of the Studies Centre of Asia and Oceania.

Ambassador To New Zealand October 2007 -

Fluent in Spanish, Chinese and English.


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