Before leaving Romania at the end of her five year term spent here as the Ambassador of Chile, Ms. María Eliana Cuevas Bernales (photo R), granted Nine O’Clock the following statement :
“This year we celebrate 90 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Chile and Romania. The strong friendship bonds were established between our countries as of February 5th, 1925, when the first Chilean mission was established in Romania, which was also the first Latin-American mission in Romania. The first person to be accredited was Mr. Juan Larion Alcade who became Chargé d´Affaires in July 6th of that year. The bilateral dialogue was established however some years earlier, in 1911, when the Romanian engineer Mr. Catone Nicoreanu took over the function of Honorary Consul of the Republic of Chile Bucharest, between the years 1911-1913, and that of Honorary Consul of Romania in Santiago de Chile, in the period 1921-1925.
Since then, we have come a long way and I am pleased to see that our cooperation and collaboration has only incremented in recent years. Today, our relations are characterized by a smooth cooperation in different areas, not only at the multilateral level, where we share common values and visions, but also bilaterally. In the last years, energy cooperation, education, tourism and trade have opened up enormous opportunities for our countries.
Within the framework of the celebration of 90 years of diplomatic relations, we should also mention the awarding of the Romanian National Order “For Merit” in the rank of Officer to the Chilean poet and translator Omar Lara for his contribution in promoting the Romanian literature in the world and the awarding of the Chilean order Bernardo O´Higgins in the rank of “High Official” to Mr. Nicolas Nicoara, General Director of International Relations within the National Union of Bilateral Chambers of Commerce and Industry for his continuous efforts in strengthening the commercial relations between these two countries.
Looking at my activity during the 5 year mandate in Romania, I can say that on a cultural level we managed to bring with the support of JTI the Chilean National Ballet run by Gigi Caciuleanu presented in the George Enescu festival in 2011. With the support of Instituto Cervantes, Muzeul Taranului and other institutions and universities from Cluj, Iasi etc. we brought various contemporary Chilean movies closer to the Romanian public, and we also supported the translation to Romanian of a wide number of books written by Isabel Allende, Pablo Neruda and Jorge Edwards.
Since 2007, the cooperation between the two countries is also carried out at another level, within the Agreement of Political, Economic and Cooperation Partnership existing between the European Union and the Republic Chile, agreement which we are trying to expand.
During my mission here, the commercial relations between Romania and Chile have been strengthened, mentioning only the sale of Chilean wine in Romania which grew by more than 400%. The relations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, the Chamber of Commerce and other local authorities have also been tightened.
It is also important to mention the program Start Up Chile that helps young entrepreneurs to get seed money in order to develop their business idea in Chile has been very popular among young Romanians; there have been around 20 winners of this program in the period 2010-2014.
Romania is a beautiful country; I had the opportunity to visit most of it with the courtesy of the trips organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by the Europarlamentary Daciana Sarbu and the Ministry of Tourism. The best impressions I take with me are the traditions so well kept especially in the rural areas and the Romanian cuisine. I will miss the sarmale with mamaligutza, the covrigi and the unfiltered beer.
I also take many pleasant memories from the friendships I made here, all the events that we organized and the support of all the people that have made my stay here be a pleasant one”.