Geingob gets lukewarm welcome in US

06 March 2014 Author  

front fidel 07 marchPRIME Minister Hage Geingob, who is currently visiting the United States on official business along with a trade delegation, was surprised not to receive the usual protection unit provided by the U.S. government on his arrival in the country. Members of the delegation said the prime minister received information from the Namibian Ambassador to Washington, Martin Andjaba, that U.S. officials said there was no security threat and therefore no security detail was necessary.

The U.S. government appeared to have scaled down the courtesy extended to the prime minister on his current trip, in comparison to his previous trips to the U.S. during his first tenure as prime minister.

This has prompted speculation that the warm reception Geingob received in Cuba prior to travelling to Canada and then the US could have been the reason behind the sudden cold shoulder the Americans gave him.

In Cuba apart from being received by the President Raul Castro, the President of the National Assembly Esteban Hernandez and his counterpart the Vice President Miguel Bermudez, Geingob was accorded the rare opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the legendary Fidel Castro himself.

This was a sign of recognition of Geingob as not only an icon of Namibia’s liberation struggle but as a global leader who represents the ideal of the New Africa.

After having engaged the top Cuban leadership on various political and economic issues relating to the two countries, Geingob was ironically informed that there was no security threat.

Members of the delegation further questioned what the security threat was twelve years ago on Geingob’s previous visit to the US, where secret service agents as well as vehicles where readily availed to him.

“At a time when he is the sole presidential candidate of the Swapo party for the upcoming Presidential and National Assembly elections, one would think there is more at stake now,” a source remarked.

The meeting between Geingob and Castro was more than a courtesy call as it turned into a substantive meeting lasting a full two hours.

During the intriguing interaction between the two, Comandante Castro showed that he is as bright as ever and explained to Prime Minister Geingob that he followed a regime of extensive reading and analysis of news from all over the globe.

Castro displayed his large collection of information gathered from various newspapers and translated into Spanish.

He informed the prime minister that in order to prepare for the future, one should always stay abreast of current affairs.

Furthermore, he also stressed the importance of education and health and he urged the prime minister to pay particular attention and focus to these sectors. Cuba has excelled in these sectors over the past several decades. The prime minister’s lunch meeting with President Raúl Castro, took place in a relaxed atmosphere and jovial spirits due to the camaraderie between the two leaders.

Raúl Castro showed the prime minister several murals as well as some trees that originate from the Sierra Maestra Mountains where the Cuban revolutionaries launched many attacks during the revolution.

The discussions ranged from reviewing existing agreements that the two countries have signed between each other and establishing a joint working team that will identify any obstacles in the implementation of these agreements.

Both Bermudez and Geingob pledged implementation of projects such as the Labiofam malaria eradication initiative.

Earlier on in his visit, Geingob had visited the Labiofam Pharmaceutical Company, which is looking at a project which could eliminate malaria in Namibia within two years and would bolster Government’s malaria eradication initiative.

Another project that caught the eye during this mission was the nanotechnology project run by the Centre for Advanced Studies, headed by Fidel Castro Diaz, the son of Comandante Fidel Castro.

Whilst in the U.S., the prime minister will meet with potential investors in Detroit and is expected to lecture at the Boston School of Public Health.

He has also been invited to take part in the prestigious lecture series run by the school and thereafter will move on to New York to meet with the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon.

Before concluding his mission in Washington on March 13, he will meet with several US Senators.

Geingob has started to feature more prominently internationally and has also received an invitation from the People’s Republic of China to pay an official visit to China in April this year.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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