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Guyana to commemorate 40 years diplomatic relations with Cuba

CMC

Monday, December 03, 2012 | 2:42 PM    

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The Guyana government says it will join its Caribbean Community (CARICOM) partners on Saturday in celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations with Cuba, the region’s only communist country.

It said that a series of activities including cultural events, special public engagements, and interviews with key stakeholders will be held and that the highlight of the celebrations will be a grand reception on December 8.

In 1972, Guyana along with Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados established diplomatic relations with Havana despite a diplomatic embargo by the United States soon after Fidel Castro came to power more than 50 years ago.

A government statement said that Georgetown and Havana “have continued to build upon the spirit of cooperation that has characterised their diplomatic relations and which has contributed to the development of Guyana’s human resource base especially in the areas of education and health”.

It said the Cuban scholarship programme, “which is perhaps the biggest success story of the Guyana-Cuba relations” has been of significant benefit to the CARICOM country and that Cuba recently announced that it will be offering specialist scholarships in the areas of pathology, psychiatry, gynecology and dermatology.

The statement said that President Donald Ramotar visited Cuba in October where the bilateral programme of cooperation was further advanced with the signing of agreements on the exemption of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, official and service passports and cooperation in the areas of sports and health.

Guyana also informed Cuba of its decision to exempt Cuban nationals from visa requirements to enter and remain in Guyana for periods not exceeding 90 days for the holders of all categories of passports, the statement added.

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