December 8 marks the forty-fourth anniversary of relations between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Cuba. The date relates to the establishment of diplomatic relations with Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in 1972.

On the occasion of the First CARICOM-Cuba Summit, held in Havana in 2002, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro noted “This unquestionably brave political decision, adopted by small and newly independent countries in a climate of hostility and enormous pressures, was a fundamental step toward breaking the diplomatic and trade blockade on Cuba in the region, and a breach of the isolation imposed on Cuba through the OAS. Cuba will never forget this noble gesture on the part of its Caribbean brothers and sisters.”

The historical ties that unite Cuba and the Caribbean are based on the principles of solidarity, friendship, selflessness, gratitude and full support, as outlined by the leader of the Cuban Revolution.

For more than four decades, cooperative ties have been maintained and developed in many areas including health, education, human resource training and energy.

CARICOM is made up of 14 independent states and the island of Montserrat, as well as five associated members: Anguilla, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands