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Let us not forget Cuba

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(Statement from the SVG/Cuba Friendship Society)

Vincentians are urged to reciprocate the solidarity shown by the Government and people of the Republic of Cuba to our country and the rest of the Caribbean.

Making the appeal is the St Vincent and the Grenadines/Cuba Friendship Society. The Society notes that Cuba suffered tremendous damage from the passing of Hurricane Irma, but damage to other Eastern Caribbean islands by both Irma and Hurricane Maria, as well as the traditional bias of the international media towards Cuba, has overshadowed Cuba’s own devastation.

In spite of its own damage, Cuba has been in the forefront of rendering assistance to hurricane-hit islands, in keeping with its philosophy of solidarity. This and the tremendous efforts at recovery in Cuba, has also contributed to the mistaken belief that Cuba has not suffered greatly from the ravages of Irma.

The people of St Vincent and the Grenadines have benefitted substantially from Cuban assistance. As long ago as 1979, following the eruption of the Soufrière volcano, Cuba was one of many countries to come to our aid, even though at the time we had no diplomatic relations with that country. It has provided hundreds of scholarships to Vincentian students and made tremendous contributions in the fields of education and health in particular. The “Vision Now” programme, enabling hundreds of Vincentians to receive optical treatment, deserves special mention. Latterly there has been the Argyle International Airport, in the construction of which Cuban assistance was critical.

It is only fair that Vincentians extend the same solidarity to the people of Cuba, as they try to recover from their disaster. The SVGCFS has therefore set up a CUBA HURRICANE RELIEF FUND at the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines, account # 130016. The Society appeals to Vincentians, particularly graduates of Cuban universities, parents and relatives of Vincentians studying there, beneficiaries of Cuban assistance in the health field, and the general public, who have benefitted directly or indirectly, to contribute to this fund and so demonstrate our solidarity, generosity and gratitude to the Government and people of Cuba.

Renwick Rose

SVGCFS

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