CARICOM Ambassadors in Cuba Observe CARICOM-Cuba Day
(Barbados Government Information Service) It was in an atmosphere of friendship and solidarity that Ambassadors of CARICOM countries resident in Havana, Cuba, together with high-level officials of the Cuban Government, came together on Wednesday to commemorate the 49th Anniversary of the establishment diplomatic relations.
Relations first begun when the then Heads of Government of Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, defying Cold War tensions and political pressure, signed the relevant documents in December of 1972. The decision to designate December 8 as Cuba-CARICOM Day was made at meeting held in 2002.
Since 1972, other CARICOM countries have followed suit soon after the declaration of their respective political Independence. The membership of CARICOM currently stands at 15 countries. Yesterday’s celebration in Havana began with the formal ceremonial laying of a wreath at the CARICOM Park in Havana.
In their speeches, Vice-President of the Republic of Cuba, Salvador Valdés Mesa; and Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to Cuba, and current Chairman of the Corps of CARICOM Ambassadors in Havana, George Goodwin, reaffirmed their support for and solidarity with each other’s countries and people.
Following the formal ceremony, the officials attended a reception hosted by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla. The occasion provided the opportunity for the officials to exchange greetings, chat and generally reaffirm their friendship.
Among the other officials present were:– Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Vice-Minister Foreign Affairs– Ana Teresita González Fraga, Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade;– Regla Angulo Pardo, Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Public Health; and- Fernando León Jacomino, Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Culture The CARICOM Ambassadors to Cuba in attendance included: — Ambassador of Barbados, Philip St. Hill;– Ambassador of Jamaica, Kathryn Phipps; — Ambassador of Grenada and Dean of the CARICOM Corps of Ambassadors, Claris Charles; and– Ambassador of The Bahamas, Brent Deane.