Cuba and CARICOM move to deepen ties

| December 10, 2014

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, December 8, 2014 – GIS:  Caribbean news. The Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit convened earlier on Monday, December 8th at the Palacio de la Revolucion in Havana, Cuba. The Summit, at which most of the Heads of State and Government of the Member countries are present, was declared open by the Head of the Host country, President Raul Castro Ruz.

In addressing his colleagues, President Castro Ruz reiterated that the goal of these summits is to foster and strengthen the region’s “fraternal engagement in cooperation, solidarity and coordination to move towards the necessary Latin American and Caribbean integration…a dream of the forefathers…which is today crucial to our survival.”

Citing the brave decision of the first four Caribbean nations to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, namely Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, President Castro expressed pride in the excellent relations that Cuba now has with all the nations of CARICOM.

President Raul Castro Ruz. Photo courtesy

President Raul Castro Ruz. Photo courtesy

The President reassured the CARICOM member nations that “despite the economic difficulties, and the changes undertaken to upgrade [Cuba’s] socioeconomic system, [Cuba] will honour its pledge to cooperate and share our modest achievements with our sister nations in the Caribbean.”

Among the mentioned areas for collaboration and support to the region are educational scholarships, facilities and opportunities, development of human resources for the provision of quality healthcare, expertise in climate change adaptation, and support for the small countries of the Caribbean to be accorded special and differential treatment in access to trade and investments.

It is noteworthy that to date, Cuba has 1806 collaborators working in CARICOM countries, especially in Health care. Likewise, 4, 991 Caribbean nationals have graduated from Cuban universities and a further 1,055 are currently undertaking studies in Cuba.

In reporting on Cuba’s ongoing changes aimed at providing a quality life for its citizens, President Castro expressed profound gratitude to the Caribbean nations for their “upright stance in respect for and solidarity with [Cuba].”

The Summit on Monday was in commemoration of CARICOM- Cuba day, which is celebrated on December 8th each year, with the summit convening every three years in one of the member nations.

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