Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 08, 2016 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis has once again joined other Member States to observe CARICOM-CUBA Day on Thursday, December 08, a day the Honourable Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation, described as one to celebrate fruitful relationships, the strengthening of ties, and the importance of cordial and productive relations.
“It is also a day to reflect and honour the great legacy of El Comandante (Pronounced Commandantay) and Jefe (Pronounced Hay Fay), the late former President, Fidel Castro Ruz,” said Minister Brantley. “The Caribbean-Cuba relationship exemplifies the benefits of working towards fraternity, peace and prosperity and demonstrates true Caribbean unity. The St. Kitts and Nevis – Cuba relations represent no less.”
During his address to commemorate the day, Minister Brantley expressed warm greetings to the Government and people of Cuba on this momentous occasion.
“On behalf of the citizens and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, I would like to thank the Government and the people of the Republic of Cuba for its continued support and interaction, and wish all a happy and united CARICOM-Cuba day, said Minister Brantley. “This auspicious occasion signifies forty four (44) years of friendship between CARICOM and Cuba demonstrated through strong fraternal bond, partnership and collaboration, adding that it comes on the heels of the recent passing of the honourable and exceptional icon and visionary, Former Cuban President, Fidel Castro Ruz. Cuba and CARICOM interact in various multilateral fora specifically in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).”
Minister Brantley reflected on the leadership of the late President of Cuba.
“Fidel’s vision and legacy have been fundamental in the economic and social development of our CARICOM nations,” he said. “His advocacy for regional integration and social servitude concentrating on the reduction of poverty, social exclusion and inequality, urged him to join with his longtime friend and partner, Venezuela’s late President, Hugo Chavez, to create the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas – People’s Trade Treaty or (ALBA-TCP) in December 2004, whose birth implemented social programs, provided technical assistance to our nations, produced the Petro-Caribe Agreement and the foundational summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Caracas, seven years later. The practice of solidarity as a main philosophy in Cuba’s foreign policy has been instrumental as an implementation mechanism and has supported Cuba’s international insertion in the International Sphere.”
Minister Brantley said that as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Cuba has experienced major economic crisis, however, St. Kitts and Nevis continues to promote its objectives based on common interests in international fora. He made reference to 1962 when Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS), adding that it marked a historic breaking point for Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean and this is why the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis supported the re-institution of Cuba into the OAS in 2009.