(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit was testimony to the solidarity and fraternal relationship that existed among Caribbean people, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said on Monday.
Addressing the Summit in Havana, Cuba, the Secretary-General retraced the history of the relationship between CARICOM Member States and Cuba, and outlined the myriad ways in which they had cooperated.
“Cuba has demonstrated its commitment to the sustainable development of our Region, by providing generous assistance in areas such as health, education, agriculture and sports. This has been a significant boost to the Caribbean Community, in particular to our efforts at strengthening our human resource capacity.
“More recently, Cuba came forward to assist CARICOM countries to prepare, in the event that Ebola comes into the Region. This is in keeping with Cuba’s leadership role in the global fight against the deadly disease, which has seen more than 250 medical personnel from this country, in the vanguard of the battle in West Africa. This is no surprise to us who have experienced Cuba’s humanity, such as with Operation Milagro.”
The Secretary-General also alluded to the various fora in which CARICOM and Cuba had collaborated, including at the level of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), to have the Caribbean Sea recognised as a zone for sustainable development. The two sides were also working together in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to advance hemispheric integration on a range of socioeconomic, political and environmental issues, as well as being engaged within the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), to advocate for a new Climate Change Agreement.