Georgetown, GINA, March 22, 2016
A shift in the United States foreign policy towards Cuba could be of benefit to Guyana and the Caribbean in particular. This is according to Foreign Affairs Minister and Vice President, Carl Greenidge.
According to Greenidge, Guyana has been pushing for closer relations between the two countries since this country gained independence in 1966.
In an interview with the Government Information Agency, Greenidge said now that Cuba and the United States have cleared a path that will enable a closer relationship, there can be a more integrated approach to address common challenges. “Dialogue which is very important amongst us in a region with so many challenges which are also facing the world, such as, terrorism, cybercrime and so forth, one cannot over estimate the value of greater dialogue between the countries in this wider region,” Greenidge noted.
He is of the view that the new relationship will help Cuba and the region as improved prosperity is something that the region can benefit from because Cuba is potentially a very significant player in the region.
“Cuba, it must be noted was a major player in the global tourist sector. It still has the capacity and it is also a place where technical skills are pretty high compared to many other parts of this hemisphere,” the Foreign Minister noted.
Greenidge said, in these circumstances the improved relations would enable the region to integrate at a lesser cost and with positive benefits for all the players in the region. “To the extent that the political dialogue facilitates greater economic cooperation, greater technical assistance and integrated and larger markets, Guyana stands to benefit, and the rest of the region will benefit from that enhancement of the relationship with the US,” Greenidge said.
The Caribbean and other nations have long called for an end to the various embargos placed on Cuba by the United States. The US President Barack Obama recently ended a three day visit to the island state, the second by a US President. The first visit to Cuba by a US President was in 1928, by then President Calvin Coolidge. The US formally restored diplomatic ties with Cuba on December 14, 2015, a move which was welcomed by Guyana and other regional countries.