GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (CMC) – Cuba on Wednesday reaffirmed its “unconditional and selfless friendship” with the Caribbean Community (Caricom), describing the regional integration grouping as a “vital exceptional institution”.
Presenting his credentials to Caricom Secretary General, Dr Carla Barnett, the new Cuban ambassador to Caricom, Jorge Francisco Soberon Luis, said Cuba will “never forget” the importance of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972 with Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.
“It was a paramount decision for relations between Caricom and Cuba,” he said, adding that “unity, solidarity, integration and cooperation are the solution to our challenges.
He said Caricom and Cuba have achieved cooperation with extraordinary benefits for their peoples, noting also that a majority of people from Caricom “has benefitted for decades from cooperation with Cuba.
"We have the immediate possibility to continue articulating projects in multiple areas of significant importance for the present and well-being of our peoples for which we offer the will and decision of Cuba”.
He said Havana will continue to “actively support in the international community the special treatment that Caricom deserves”.
The Caricom Secretary General added that the accreditation of the new diplomat “is symbolic of the historical and friendly bonds that unite Caricom with Cuba”.
She said over the years, Caricom and Cuba have forged a strong and meaningful relationship that stems from and builds on the decision of the then four independent Caricom States to jointly establish diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1972.
“That symbolic and courageous act at the height of the cold war continues to unite our peoples, and serves as the solid base for the strong and enduring collaboration between Cuba and our Community of nations.
“The Caricom-Cuba Triennial Summit process has been an effective mechanism for our leaders’ political interactions and for advancing cooperation initiatives to increase our self-reliance for the well-being of our people.”
Barnett said she hopes the tenure of the new Cuban diplomat will facilitate implementation of commitments made by the leaders of Caricom and Cuba in the Political Declaration adopted at the Eighth Caricom-Cuba Summit held in Barbados in December last year.
“We look forward to close collaboration as we prepare for the seventh meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Caricom and Cuba later this year in Guyana,” she said, noting that the diplomat was assuming his new role during the year in which Caricom marks the important milestone of 50 years.