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Officials commemorate Cuba/CARICOM Day 39th anniversary in St. Vincent

Officials commemorate Cuba/CARICOM Day 39th anniversary in St. Vincent

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba have reaffirmed their commitment to co-operating with each other, in a show of solidarity which took place last Friday, December 9, at Frenches House, as top officials from the two countries gathered to commemorate the 39th anniversary of Cuba/ CARICOM Day.{{more}}

The senior officials were joined by Vincentian well wishers, along with Cuban members of the Chatoyer/Che contingent employed at the international airport project at Argyle; those in the medical field posted at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, Sandy Bay and Union Island, as well as those assigned to the technical department of the Ministry of Transport and Works.

The group gathered to commemorate the decision made by Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago on December 8, 1972, to forge diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba, despite the disapproval of the United States, which had imposed economic sanctions against Cuba since 1960.

A two-day summit was held in Trinidad and Tobago on December 7 and 8 this year, where Caribbean leaders and Cuban president Raul Castro met, and discussed further areas of cooperation between the Spanish speaking country and its regional counterparts.

Some of these areas include the establishment of a school for the training of teachers of physically and mentally challenged persons, and the setting up of a school for the training of persons involved in the performing arts.

Cuban Ambassador Pedro Antonio Rodrigues Vidal, speaking at Frenches House, hailed the decision made by the early leaders, and indicated that Cuba was, and will be forever grateful to the CARICOM countries for their show of solidarity, and that their practical gestures were a modest show of appreciation to the region.

“Each project and program provides a new step towards the integrated region which we aspire…. It is only through integration and co-operation, not only among states, but also among the various regional organizations and entities can our people find their way out….”

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who attended the Trinidad and Tobago summit, indicated at the local celebratory ceremony that the brotherhood between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba was the pillar of this country’s foreign relations, for which the local government was unapologetic.

“I want to make a statement of appreciation to our Cuban brothers and sisters for all the work they have been doing in health, education and airport development.”

“It is as though Cuba is not having a very difficult time because of the economic pressures; but amazingly, when you think that this country has reached its limit, they have submitted a further nine areas of co-operation.”

To date, there are 1,600 Cubans in the region providing various services, while more than 2,500 students from around the region are currently studying in Cuba.(JJ)

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