Jamaica, Cuba sign new Cultural Cooperation and Exchange AgreementFriday, June 07, 2013
JAMAICA on Wednesday signed a Cultural Cooperation and Exchange Agreement with Cuba, which is expected to build on an earlier agreement inked between the two countries in the 1970s.
Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna inked the agreement on behalf of Jamaica, with Cuba's Minister of Culture Rafael Bernal signing on behalf of his Government.
The signing took place at Cuba's Ministry of Culture offices in Havana and follows negotiations between the two countries, which had begun last year.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Hanna noted that Jamaica and Cuba are two of the world's strongest cultural brands, with Cuba being known particularly for its resilience and artistic strength and Jamaica having a strong global recognition particularly in the areas of music and sports. She pointed out that the time was opportune for both countries to build on the excellent relations they have shared over many years by deepening cooperation and exchanges in culture, particularly for the benefit of Jamaican and Cuban youth.
"We are promoting and advancing a cultural revolution in Jamaica and Cuba can help us to make that happen," Minister Hanna said. She said many areas of opportunities existed for both countries to share best practices and exchange talent that can improve their cultural products.
At the same time, the Jamaican minister reaffirmed her country's commitment to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and noted that following the recent meeting of CELAC ministers of culture held in Suriname, it was fitting that Jamaica and Cuba were signing an agreement on cultural cooperation that paves the way for the forging of wider corridors of cultural solidarity among Caribbean and Latin American nations.
Cuba's Culture Minister Rafael Bernal described Hanna as a great friend of Cuba, saying that she was continuing and building on the strong relations which have existed between the neighbouring countries for many years. "It is a pleasure for Cuba to sign this cooperation agreement with Jamaica which strengthens the collaboration between our two countries as part of one family for the benefit of Jamaicans and Cubans," Minister Bernal said.
He said he looked forward to the exchange of specialists that could help both countries intensify and strengthen their cultural development.
While in Cuba, Minister Hanna held discussions with representatives of several cultural industry agencies as the first step towards the start-up of a new phase of cultural cooperation and exchange between the two countries under the current agreement.