Cuban envoy in hot soup…as Govt initiates process to have him recalled over political involvement
Published On April 2, 2018 » 2960 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » HOME SLIDE SHOW, SHOWCASE
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. Vilas

. Vilas

By Steven Zande –

GOVERNMENT has initiated a process to request Cuba to recall its Ambassador Nelson Pages Vilas for allegedly pledging to support the newly launched opposition Socialist Party.
The Government said the conduct of Mr Vilas was unbecoming of a diplomat and the ministry of Foreign Affairs has started the process of engaging the Cuban government to recall Mr Vilas.
Mr Vilas who presented his letter of credence to President Lungu on Thursday was quoted as having pledged support to former Post Newspapers founder Fred M’membe’s Socialist Party when he attended its launch on Saturday.
Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said Mr Vilas’ conduct and his pledge to support an opposition political grouping was against established diplomatic practice.
“That is why President Lungu has made the decision. The Cuban mission in Zambia continues to exist. The President has requested the recall of one individual, the ambassador,” Mr Chanda said.
He said at a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that it would be difficult for the Government to work with Mr Vilas because his loyalty would be divided between the State and an opposition party.
Foreign diplomats were accredited to a government, hence the need for the heads of mission to work according to established practices for sustained cordial relations between nations.
Mr Chanda said being a senior diplomat, Mr Vilas should have known that his attendance at the launch of the opposition party was unacceptable and against diplomatic practice.
The request to recall the envoy would not affect existing relations between Zambia and Cuba.

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