Ambassador Fermín Gabriel Quiñones highlights strong links between Cuba and The Netherlands at Diplomat Club Wassenaar
Cuban Summer Night at Diplomat Club Wassenaar
On 30 June 2016 Diplomat Club Wassenaar and the Cuban Embassy organised a Cuban Summer night at Kasteel De Wittenburg with main focus on highly talented painter Mr.Julio Breff Guilarte, specially flown in from Cuba for the opening, with professional guidance of Ms. Esther van Gent from the Cuban Cultural events. At least 42 Ambassadors, all honorary members of Diplomat Club Wassenaar confirmed and enjoyed the evening with their spouses and for at least two of them, with a delightful daughter too. High ranking officers from the Dutch Ministries and Captains of Industries were also present among the almost 200 guests welcomed by H.E Fermin Gabriel Quiñones, Ambassador of Cuba, accompanied by his charming spouse Mrs. Aimara.
For one night we could imagine actually being there: the Havana Club bar in the garden, under guidance of Ms. Marie-Laure Raadsen with irresistible mojitos, a Cigar bar donated by CubaCigar Benelux. Perfectly cut Cohibas presented by Mrs. Yvonne van Horssen-Litz to enjoy on the terrace, the glorious beat of Cuban vocalist Estrella Acosta and her band “Esquina 25” filling our souls with sunshine and rhythm and the acclaimed, colourful and fantastical paintings of Mr. Julio Breff Guilarte.
Mr Jan Hoekema, Mayor of Wassenaar paid tribute to the organisers, before passing the floor to His Excellency Mr Fermin Gabriel Quiñones. The Ambassador welcomed us to this “passion for Cuba” event. He highlighted the strong links between the Netherlands and Cuba and the recent visits of PM Mr Rutte and FA Minister Mr Koenders and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Mrs Ploumen to his country and the first visit here of the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs. Trade and tourism are booming and there is a strong will on both sides to cooperate further.
“Tonight” as he said, “is about Culture: the root of our Nation.” Before sadly announcing his upcoming departure and inviting us all to Havana, he gave “his deepest appreciation to the City of Wassenaar and Mayor Hoekema, to Diplomat Club Wassenaar, in particular Founder Mrs Shida Bliek, and Mr. Ralf Meppelder of Castle De Wittenburg”. He then proposed a “friendship toast to Cuba, The Netherlands, and all our countries”.
It was then time to gratify the appetite with the wonderful Cuban buffet, a mosaic of colours and textures, of aromas and tastes. My personal favourites were the codfish topped with seafood and antiboise, the black beans which I adore and the casaba with creole sauce all prepared by Castle de Wittenburg Chef Jan-Willem Rietveld, his team, and Mrs Maaidelys Alfonso Lauzardo, the cook of the Cuban Ambassador.
What a fiesta!
It was hard to leave such a pleasurable evening, but to soften the blow, we departed with a goodie bag, brimming with information on travel and cigars and music and art…and a miniature of Havana Club Cuban Rum!
Diplomat Club Wassenaar thanks Mr. Carlos Rodriguez of the Cuban Embassy who was in charge of organizing the event.
It was a great honour to welcome H.E. Fermin Gabriel Quiñones as a honorary member of Diplomat Club Wassenaar in 2014 ( see Diplomat Affairs, Royal issue page 6/7). We wish the Ambassador and his family all the best in his further career as a Diplomat: https://issuu.com/diplomataffairs/docs/editie2
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