In a release, Cuba says it gives high priority to its relations with the CARICOM member countries. Among the peoples and governments of the Caribbean and Cuba there is a historic friendship and a high level of exchange and understanding, based on the principles of cooperation, solidarity, friendship, equity, gratitude and full support to the Region.
Parilla's visit allows Cuba to reaffirm its commitment to maintain cooperation with the Caribbean, despite the difficulties the island faces as a result of the US government’s measures to intensify the economic, commercial and financial blockade against it.
As part of this solidarity cooperation, 1,723 Cuban collaborators work in the sister nations of the Caribbean and 727 young Caribbean boys and girls take studies in Cuba. Since the 70s of the last century, 6,739 Caribbean students have graduated in Cuba.
Cuba will be eternally grateful for the dignified and courageous gesture by the first four Caribbean countries (Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados and Jamaica) that sovereignly decided to establish diplomatic relations with our country on December 8, 1972. This action broke the diplomatic isolation that the United States intended to impose on Cuba.
Today Cuba has diplomatic missions in the 14 CARICOM member states, which are represented in Havana as well. Cuba is also accredited to CARICOM, the OECS and the ACS.
Cuba thanks the CARICOM countries for continuing to demand the lifting of the blockade imposed by the US against Cuba, and the United Nations support for the Motion against this unjust policy.
At the same time, Cuba reiterates its support to the Caribbean countries in their claims against arbitrary categorization as upper-middle income economies (which seriously hinders their access to international financing) and for compensation for the excesses and damages caused by centuries of slavery, colonialism and looting. Likewise, Cuba shares these countries’ concerns about the threat posed by the effects of climate change to us, the Small Island States.
The bilateral CARICOM-Cuba mechanism has been an incentive for the development of our relations. So far, six summits of heads of government and five meetings of foreign ministers have been held. The next rounds will be the Sixth Ministerial Meeting, on June 14, 2019 and the Seventh Summit, on December 8, 2020.
The Sixth CARICOM-Cuba Ministerial Meeting will lay the framework to further strengthen the relations between CARICOM and Cuba and seek joint solutions to the problems of greatest incidence in the region, such as the adverse effects of climate change and the challenges of development.
The Caribbean is an essential part of our continent. Only united can we move towards a forceful community, able to represent the interests of all.