Cuba celebrates the 43rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties with the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
Cuba ratified the firm commitment to solidarity with the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and that the historical ties will remain a priority of its foreign policy, during a ceremony held for the 43rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Greater Antilles and the integrationist bloc, held in Havana.
Marcelino Medina, first deputy foreign minister, expressed the will of the Cuban government to boost relations, sustained by the friendship, cooperation and political and economic complementation, ACN reported.
To Alfonso Munera, secretary general of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), Medina recalled that the Cuba-Caricom Day was instituted in 2002 to mark the courageous decision taken on December 8, 1972 by Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica, to establish ties with Havana.
That event was a major step in breaking the political isolation that the US had imposed on Cuba, he stressed, in the presence of representatives of Cuban organizations and institutions, and members of the diplomatic corps of the area accredited here.
He pointed out that the date was established at the first Summit of Cuba and Caricom, held in Havana in 2002, where it was agreed to hold meetings every three years to deepen dialogue and review cooperation; and that the venue would alternate between the parties.
The official said they have already held five summits, most recently in the Greater Antilles with the participation of most of the Caribbean leaders and the encouraging results reflect the excellent state of the links.
He stressed that the Cuban Government, in conjunction with other member nations, is working on the implementation of the agreed projects covering cooperation in health, education, prevention and confrontation of natural disasters, as well as the cultural exchanges, trade and investments.
In this regard, he said that in 2016 Cuba welcomes the 5th Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the countries of Caricom, to take stock of these conventions and promote their implementation.
In order to encourage Latin American and Caribbean integration, Medina also said that next year Cuba will assume the presidency of the Council of Ministers of the ACS, and its priority will contribute to the revitalization of the partnership on the basis of its founding principles.
Among new actions taken towards closer economic relations, he mentioned the first Cuba-Caricom business forum held in Santiago de Cuba in late July, and the Business Roundtable with the Caribbean held in the context of the 33rd International Havana Fair.
As a sign of cooperation ties, he noted that more than five thousand students of the nations in the region have graduated in the Greater Antilles, and more than 33,800 Cuban collaborators to date have provided services in Caribbean lands.
Although Cuba is not a rich country, it has been willing to share with its brothers in the Caribbean, explained Charles John Corbette, Ambassador of the Commonwealth of Dominica in Havana.
The Dominican diplomat thanked the Island, and confirmed the decision of the CARICOM nations to historically support the Cuban demand for an end to the unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States for over 50 years.
The event was also attended by Roberto Fernandez Retamar, president of the Casa de las Americas.
Translated by ESTI