Cuba continues to show it's a true regional partner and actor: CARICOMListen /
NARRATOR: The Caribbean Community – CARICOM has stressed that despite significant challenges, Cuba continues to show itself to be a key regional and international partner and actor.
Word of this comes from Barbados' representative Ambassador Joseph Goddard, who spoke on behalf of CARICOM..
TAPE: CARICOM Member States, in keeping with our policy of mutual respect, good neighbourliness and respect for the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, have a camaraderie with Cuba which has remained cordial and resilient even through a continually evolving hemispheric and international geo-political landscape. Cuba maintains embassies in all independent countries of the Caribbean Community and continues to show itself as an integral part of the Caribbean. In this context, CARICOM and Cuba have developed and enjoy mutually beneficial programmes of cooperation and trade in a number of key areas including physical education and sports, accounting, natural sciences, humanities, economy, special education, health and medicine. In this regard, CARICOM also expresses its profound appreciation for the proposa! of Cuba for other areas of cooperation with the Community, such as the treatment of physical disabilities, the arts, language training, agriculture and fisheries, water and infrastructure.
NARRATOR: Ambassador Goddard pointed out that in the Caribbean alone, Cuba has built hospitals and clinics, provided medicines and furnished doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals, contributions which he said, continue to be received and remembered with utmost appreciation. Students from the CARICOM States have benefitted from University education in Cuba, free of charge, and Cuba has unselfishly extended much generosity to the CARICOM Member State of Haiti, following the devastating 2010 earthquake.
TAPE: With the increasing frequency of natural disasters and the persistent impact of the global economic crisis, the unacceptable humanitarian cost of the embargo is becoming even more acute. Cuba’s safety, advance preparedness and pace of recovery are compromised by the embargo’s many direct and indirect effects. Indeed, it is in such times of national crisis that the fundamental unjustness of the Cuban embargo is brought into sharpest relief. When viewed in light of the generosity and selfless assistance which Cuba has kindly accorded to other States in times of need, the unilateral application of the embargo against Cuba, is seen to be especially ill-conceived. Such events underscore the significant need, not for intensification of punitive measures, but rather for greater regional and international cooperation and solidarity.
NARRATOR: Barbados' representative Ambassador Joseph Goddard, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community. This is Donn Bobb reporting