Delicate New Mission for Colombia’s Ambassador to Cuba

A container with 518,400 will leave for Cuba. Screenshot from a post by Gonzalo Moreno, presidente de Fenavi, a Colombian producers association.

As Cuban farming reaches new lows in production, buying eggs from Colombian producers is a partial stopgap as long as there is money to import.

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – To the diplomatic file of Jose Noe Rios, Colombian ambassador to Havana and skillful negotiator during the most tense moments of the dialogue with the FARC guerrillas, a “historical milestone” has just been added: he received – personally – the 518,400 eggs that the National Federation of Poultry Farmers (Fenavi) “to put on the tables” in Havana.

[The shipment is the equivalent of one egg for every 20 Cubans under the country’s ration system.]

Ambassador Jose Noe Rios. Colombian producers have been “working for more than a decade to bring the chicken and egg to new frontiers” / El Colombiano

The episode achieved picturesque headlines in the Colombian press: “First shipment!: Cuba now consumes eggs from Colombia,” with multiple applause for the architect of the shipment, Gonzalo Moreno, president of Fenavi, along with Rios and the Government of Gustavo Petro. Smiling in all the photographs, Moreno is already known in the agricultural sector of the Latin American country as “the lawyer who managed to send 500,000 eggs to Cuba.”

“Today Colombia exports 518,400 eggs to Cuba, two 40-foot containers with 17,280 trays of 30 units. This achievement is a consequence of the investment in the health status of the country and the sustainable production capacity of more than 17 billion eggs per year,” the businessman proudly tweeted.

In addition, he published a video with images of the containers, which departed from the port of Cartagena, accompanied by a slogan: “The quality and safety of the Colombian egg transcends borders.”

“Everything happened,” says the newspaper Las Dos Orillas, “after his participation (Moreno’s) in Alimentos Cuba 2024, the International Fair of Food, Beverages and Food Technology,” which the media describes as “the most important food event in the country that has Miguel Díaz-Canel as its president.” The Cubans were very persuasive, and immediately “the conditions were defined,” and the initial negotiations began in 2023.

In another interview, Moreno said that he has always had this ambition and has been “working for more than a decade to bring the Colombian chicken and eggs to new frontiers.” His colleagues in Fenavi and the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) support him: “As a country, we are very proud,” said Juan Roa, general manager of the ICA. “We are sure that our high-quality fresh eggs will be well received by the consumers of the Island.”

If Fenavi’s announcement is correct and Moreno’s promise is fulfilled – “to gather fresh eggs from all over the country,” at least once a month – Ambassador Ríos will have his agenda occupied with new “receptions.” In fact, as the press reports, the 63-year-old diplomat is “looking for more Colombian products to provide food to Cubans, now in a “serious crisis,” whose first victim is “the family basket” sold through the nationwide rationing system when the products are available.

Translated by Regina Anavy for Translating Cuba.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.