Cuba wants help
Seeks Caricom’s support for removal from US list of terrorist nations
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Cuba has asked the Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries to provide strong support for its exclusion from the "spurious list of state sponsors of terrorism" that is drawn up annually by the United States.
Newly appointed Cuban Plenipotentiary Representative to the Guyana-based Caricom, Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante, said that Havana expected the 15-member grouping to be vociferous as it has been in condemning the decades-old trade embargo placed by Washington against the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country.
"Our country is sure we can expect the same strong support to demand to be excluded from the spurious list of state sponsors of terrorism yearly presented by the State Department of the United States.
"The arbitrary inclusion of Cuba in this listing is intended to justify the blockade against Cuba and it is time to change this failed and hostile policy that has caused much damage and unnecessary suffering to our people," the diplomat said.
He said Havana was fully appreciative of the Caribbean for the "strong and consistent rejection of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba and its traditional support for the resolution on the subject presents our country each year to the United Nations General Assembly".
Earlier, Caricom Secretary General Irwin La Rocque renewed a call for Washington to end the embargo.
"Caricom knows well the value of unity on the international front, given that co-ordination of foreign policy is one of the pillars of our integration movement. We have, as a bloc, joined with like-minded states to both advance and protect our interests and support causes and initiatives of priority concern to us.
"This is why we have consistently supported United Nations resolutions aimed at ending the US embargo on Cuba and will continue to do so," La Rocque said.
Washington imposed the trade and economic embargo against Havana in 1960, two years after the former president Fidel Castro overthrew the Batista regime.
The embargo is enforced mainly with six statutes and the United States has consistently voted at the United Nations against the removal of the embargo.
The Cuban diplomat said that his country was excited and encouraged about the Cuba-Caricom summit scheduled for Havana on December 8, saying it would allow for the continued exchange of common issues and deepening the existing relationship.
"The Caribbean countries can always count on eternal friendship, selflessness, gratitude and full support of their Cuban brothers," he said.