Above: Raul Castro
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Cuba is pledging its continued cooperation with its neighbours in the Caribbean Community, according to Cuba President Raul Castro.
The Cuban leader was addressing the Cuba-CARICOM Summit in Havana on Monday.
“We will honour our pledge to co-operate and share our modest achievements with our sister nations in the Caribbean,” he said, emphasizing the country’s decision to support “under any circumstances” the “right of small and vulnerable countries to be accorded special and different treatment in terms of access to trade and investments.”
The challenges of this century, he said, were forcing the region to “unite in order to face together the effects of climate change and natural disasters and to co-ordinate our approach to the post 2015 Development Agenda.”
He said Cuba was willing to offer its help on the fight against climate change, offering to share Cuba’s experience gained by a series of studies on the dangers facing coastal areas.
CARICOM and Cuba have had diplomatic relations for 41 years.
“our forty-one years of diplomatic relations have been markedly fruitful as a result of functional cooperation in the areas of health, education, sports, culture, agriculture, disaster management, energy and construction,” Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie said. “We must continue to support each other in international fora, always providing reciprocal support for our initiatives, whether it is in advocacy for the rejection of any blockade against Cuba; support for the re-classification of middle-income economies; negotiations for a strong post-2015 agenda that favours small island developing states; support for Cuba’s leading role in the CELAC process; and support for candidacies for election or appointment to multilateral bodies.”