Cuba–CARICOM Cooperation

In addressing his colleagues at the Fifth Cuba–CARICOM Summit Monday in Havana, Cuba, Grenada’s Prime Minister moved immediately to ask for a hearty applause for Cuba and their role in regional development.

Prime Minister Dr the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell thanked Cuba for its continued and tremendous contribution to the development of our region, citing Grenada’s International Airport as a monument for the deep relationship that the countries share.

Prime Minister Mitchell, who was presenting on areas for multilateral cooperation between the region and the rest of the world, identified several areas for which there should be more cooperation and financing for regional development. Those include mitigation of the effects of natural disasters and non-communicable diseases; the improvement of our education systems, infrastructure and ICT platforms, as well as addressing the region’s debt issue.

Other areas include the investment in renewable energy by working with the international community, and the sourcing of financing for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to help improve resilience and ensure sustainable development.

On the priorities for collaboration between Cuba and CARICOM, Dr Keith Mitchell highlighted the promotion of resilient development in disaster risk management, through the strengthening of the relationship between Cuba’s Humanitarian Programme and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency management Agency, as well as the establishment of mechanisms to lobby the support of SIDS in disaster risk reduction. The region as a whole, according to the Prime Minster, needs to continue to work toward establishing or solidifying institutional mechanisms for the sharing of best practices in need-based areas.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell’s presentation mirrored the overall tone of the one-day Summit: one of solidarity, appreciation and commitment to work together.

Already the countries of CARICOM reiterated their demand for an end to the United States’ embargo against Cuba, a country which is everyday becoming more open.

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