Statement by the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) welcomes the thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba and the move towards the re-establishment of diplomatic ties. CARICOM has long been an advocate for the normalisation of these relations and has raised the issue repeatedly in its interaction with both parties.

As recently as last Monday, 8 December at the Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit, the Community reiterated its call for Cuba to be fully integrated into the hemispheric arrangements and for the lifting of the economic, trade and financial embargo.

Today’s announcement signals the beginning of a new era in our hemisphere and demonstrates the value of dialogue as a means of settling differences. The Community commends Presidents Obama and Castro for their bold initiative. Both Cuba and the United States have played major roles in assisting the development efforts of our Member States and we look forward to working together with them as they move forward in building their relationship.
While CARICOM welcomes this positive development, the Community looks forward to further steps being taken with despatch towards the lifting of the economic, trade and financial embargo.

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