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Dec 8, 2017

Honoring Relationship between CARICOM and Cuba

Lisette Perez

The Sixth CARICOM Cuba Summit took place in Antigua and Barbuda, where Belize is being represented by Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber.  The top-level diplomatic conference is held triennially and assesses cooperation between Cuba and the CARICOM member states.  Since its establishment fifteen years ago, the summit is taking particular focus on two regional projects, including the Caribbean Regional School of Arts.  During the summit, Deputy Prime Minister Faber signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Multi-destination tourism between CARICOM countries and the government of Cuba.  In Belize on Thursday evening, an event in recognition of the relations between Cuba and the Caribbean was held by the Cuban Embassy.

 

Lisette Perez, Cuban Ambassador

“At this moment more than one thousand Cuban collaborators serve in CARICOM nations and hundreds of young Caribbean people have graduated from Cuban universities, working in conjunction with local medical personnel.  The Cuban Medical Brigade has impacted the lives of the citizens of the region in a positive and tangible manner.  The Government of Cuba has also continued to offer scholarships to nationals of CARICOM in the field of human medicine and others.  In the area of sports, mention must be made of outstanding performances by some nationals of the Caribbean countries in different international competitions.  This achievement was reached under the guidance and training of Cuban coaches.  The seed of cultural cooperation has taken root and there exists the potential for further collaboration.  The history of the Belizean House of Culture, Belizean Film Festival and other events in this area have strong linkages to Cuba.”

 

Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“The courageous action of our Caribbean colleagues in accepting Cuba into the CARICOM fold to resist isolation continues to be an example of diplomacy and regional solidarity which continues to bear fruit and unite our countries.  As CARICOM countries and Cuba look forward to the sixth CARICOM-Cuba Summit to be held tomorrow, December eighth of this year, in Antigua and Barbuda, it will serve to align, address and ensure that our regional interests are coordinated and protected.  Belize, as a CARICOM nation, and Cuba are proud of our shared Caribbean identity and the high level of bilateral, political and international forum accords that have permitted us to advance on behalf of our people on the basis of solidarity, mutual respect, friendship and regional cooperation.  As we celebrate forty-five years of CARICOM-Cuba relations we are cognizant of the great integration advances made in the Caribbean’s health, education and sports.  Also there has been a noted rise in trade output and finances in our region.  As part of this overall effort, Belize applauds the recently signed Second Protocol of the CARICOM-Cuba trade and economic cooperation agreement which will serve to expand the scope of market success.  As developing small states, the strengthening of our economies allows us to build more resilient and inclusive societies and together deal with our increasing vulnerabilities, especially with natural disasters as experienced this year in the Caribbean.”

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