Virtual forum highlights 50 years of Cuba-Caricom ties
Georgetown, Dec 2 (RHC) A virtual forum coordinated by the University of the West Indies and the Secretariat of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), highlighted Thursday the 50 years of ties of that bloc with Cuba.
The event, which was attended by important personalities, diplomats, and academics from the region, was a journey through the history of Cuba-Caricom relations by the panelists.
After the presentation of the meeting by its organizers, the former ambassador of the island in Jamaica, José Francisco Piedra, reviewed the history of Cuba's relations with the countries of the region.
He explained the process that culminated on December 6, 1972, with the establishment of relations with the first four independent states of the Caribbean (Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago) and its significance.
Afterward, Mark Kirton, former acting director, and professor at IRI, gave the participants a methodological explanation of how the contacts between the Cuban government and some Caribbean countries came about, up to the peak moment of agreeing to establish relations and many more here.
Kirton pointed out that among the several positive aspects left by this transcendental step "between our peoples", is that it put an end to the isolation of Cuba in this geographical area.
Others who addressed issues of vital importance when assessing these 50 years were the Ambassador of Barbados to the community, David Comissiong; the researcher of the Shridath Ramphal Center for International Trade, Kai-Ann Skeete, and the Coordinator of Hemispheric and Bilateral Negotiations of Caricom, Michelle Lowe.
The role of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro was also mentioned as well as Cuban diplomat Lázaro Cabezas, who has been outstanding in the care of these countries for years. Furthermore, the island's actions in support of its neighbors in education, medicine, disasters, climate change, tourism, and others, most recently during COVID-19.
Finally, the Secretary General of Caricom's Directorate of External and Community Relations, Ambassador Donna Forde, had words of praise for the Forum and its organizers and highlighted aspects of the commemoration before giving way to the debate led by Professor of International Relations, Jacqueline Laguardia.
Caricom was created on July 4, 1973, with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas by 15 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Monserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. (Source: Prensa Latina).