Cuba’s Diaz-Canel, in Haiti, Urges Accelerated Regional Integration

Above: the Karibe Hotel in Haiti (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Caribbean urgently needs to accelerate the process of regional integration, according to Miguel Diaz-Canel, first vice president of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers.

Diaz-Canel, who was speaking at the Fifth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Association of Caribbean States in Haiti this week, said common benefits for the region could only be achieved “with concerted action and the cooperation of all.”

Diaz-Canel, who was elected to his post in February, is seen by many as the likely successor to Cuban leader Raul Castro, who recently announced his intention to retire from politics in 2018.

“The progress we achieve in the areas of tourism, trade, transportation and disaster risk reduction will make us less vulnerable and more effective,” he said at the Karibe Hotel in Port-au-Prince’s Petion-Ville neighbourhood.

The Association of Caribbean States, he said, can provide an “integration bridge” between the islands of the Caribbean and Latin America.

Integration will remain a major priority for Cuba, he said, as the country currently holds the rotating presidency of another regional body, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.