Photo: Ismael Batista

The decision of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to establish relations with Cuba on December 8, 1972, was a sign of the recently gained independence of these nations and marked the beginning of the practice of speaking “with one voice” of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Ambassador of Belize to Havana Lou-Anne Burns stated this Wednesday, December 6, on celebrating the 45th anniversary of this gesture that marked the beginning of relations between the bloc and Cuba.

During the commemorative gala held in Havana’s Teatro Martí, which featured a special performance by the Acosta Danza company, Burns recalled the legacy of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, who inspired many Caribbean leaders in their independence struggles against colonialism.

The diplomat also highlighted the importance of the 6th CARICOM-Cuba Summit, to take place December 8 in Antigua and Barbuda, which will offer a further opportunity to review bilateral ties.

The event, she added, will aim to strengthen political and economic integration, in addition to promoting multi-destination tourism links, maximizing the use of science and technology, and reinforcing the response to natural disasters.

Meanwhile, Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ana Teresita González, pointed out that the relations between the countries of the Caribbean Community and Cuba have expanded in recent decades.

González highlighted that an example of these ties was the mutual support in the face of the disaster situation in the region following the recent passage of two maximum intensity hurricanes, Irma and Maria.

To the extent of its possibilities, Cuba sent humanitarian aid and specialized personnel to the most affected Caribbean islands, to assist in the recovery of power lines, forestry efforts, and construction, including Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica.

We have managed to implement technical assistance projects in the food industry, sports, biotechnology, construction and energy sectors, in addition to the hundreds of Cuban health and education collaborators that provide their services in the nations of the Caribbean, González noted.

Attending the gala were the members of the PCC Central Committee Political Bureau, Esteban Lazo Hernández, president of the National Assembly of People’s Power; Mercedes López Acea, a vice president of the Council of State, and Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, minister of Foreign Affairs; as well as José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera, member of the Central Committee Secretariat, among other personalities.