Materia Medica Malaysiana

September 3, 2007

End of dream posting for envoy

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:25 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Cuban Ambassador Pedro Monzon Barata and teenager Sasha Joanne Gomez will be leaving for Havana soon with mixed feelings.
For the diplomat, it will be the end of a “dream posting”. For Sasha, it is simply jubilation and a new academic adventure.
Monzon Barata will be saying adios as he wraps up his splendid four-year tour of duty next week.
As one of his final goodwill gestures here, the envoy obtained full scholarships for Sasha and six other Malaysian students who had been eager to fulfil their childhood ambition of studying medicine. Fifteen students had written to Monzon Barata after reading an article in The Star about medical scholarships being offered by the Cuban Government.
Sasha will spend six years on her degree programme in the Caribbean island, with the first 20 weeks dedicated to an intensive language programme as the course is in Spanish.
“I never believed it until I got a call from the embassy confirming that I had been accepted.
“I sent in my application after conducting extensive research on Cuba on the Internet. I will always be grateful to the ambassador for encouraging me,” she said after a pre-departure briefing with the envoy at his residence here. Also present were her parents, Alex and Stanis Gomez.
Monzon Barata, who will be leaving on Sept 2, said it gave him the greatest sense of satisfaction to help the young fulfil their hopes.
On most other fronts, Monzon Barata, 61, can declare “mission accomplished” here, especially on medical research.
Clinical trials on a Cuban cancer vaccine are ongoing here. Medical research has also been undertaken on an injection to deal with diabetic foot ulcers and on a therapeutic Hepatitis B vaccine.
His “dream posting” is culminating, but Cuba’s ambassador extraordinaire, known for his stirring speeches in defence of his motherland, promises never to fade away.
“Malaysia will always be a part of me. I commit myself to this forever,” he added.

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