Ministry mounts exhibit on Cuba-Caricom relations

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Ministry mounts exhibit on Cuba-Caricom relations

Sunday, December 15, 2019

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AN exhibition depicting the relationship between the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and Cuba, is on display in the main lobby of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, 21 Dominica Drive in New Kingston.

The display, which was officially opened on Monday, December 9 by permanent secretary in the Ministry, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert Roberts, is part of activities to celebrate Caricom-Cuba Day, which is observed annually on December 8, and to commemorate the 47th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Jamaica and the Spanishspeaking island.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Gilbert Roberts said that Caricom and the Republic of Cuba have enjoyed meaningful and mutually beneficial bonds of friendship since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972.

“Those relations are built on mutual respect, shared interests, and extensive bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” she noted.

The ambassador said that more than 1,500 Cuban nationals serve in Caricom countries under Cuba's technical cooperation programme, which covers a wide range of areas, including health, culture, security, education and human resource development.

“Approximately 1,300 of those persons work in the health sector. The others serve in the education, construction, sport and agriculture fields,” she pointed out.

Gilbert Roberts said that the award of educational scholarships by the Government of Cuba remains a significant pillar of the country's support to the region.

To date, almost 5,500 Caricom nationals have graduated from Cuba's tertiary institutions and more than 800 persons are studying in the country.

Jamaica's ambassador to the Republic of Cuba, Kathryn Phipps, who joined the ceremony via Skype, said that the relationship between Cuba and Caricom is growing stronger every day.

“Not only are we developing island states but our people have forged friendships and relationships, which will redound to the benefit of all our countries,” she said.

“Cuba's generosity in giving, selflessly, scholarships and technical advice to the development of our people is immeasurable. Our gratitude is everlasting,” she added.

Ambassador Roberts noted that Cuba's capital, Havana, which is celebrating 500 years of existence “continues to strive despite its challenges”.

“We here in the embassy look forward to deepening our bilateral relations with Cuba and establishing further areas of cooperation which will strengthen our ties,” she said.

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