CARICOM reiterates its call for an end to the US embargo on CubaListen /
NARRATOR: Every year for the past 22 consecutive years, CARICOM Member States gathered in the General Assembly to sound their voices with many others of the opposition to the United States imposition of the economic, commercial and financial embargo against the Republic of Cuba.
St. Kitts-Nevis' Representative Ambassador Delano Bart noted that for 53 years, the Cuban people have endured severe economic loss and stagnation, preventing the expansion of Cuba’s commercial ties with the rest of the world, in spite of the unambiguous vote of an overwhelming majority of Member States.
"Cuba’s security, advance preparedness and pace of recovery from disasters are compromised by the embargo’s many direct and indirect effects. Indeed, it is in such times of national crisis that the fundamental injustice of the Cuban embargo is brought into sharpest focus. When viewed in the light of the generosity and selfless assistance that 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 underscores the need not for intensification of punitive measures but, rather, for greater regional and international cooperation and solidarity."
NARRATOR: Ambassador Bart noted that as a bloc of States that are small in size, the Caribbean Community attaches great value to the strength that lies in collective capacity, and will maintain a firm stance on common principles that promote their shared objectives. He said those principles include adherence to the Charter of the United Nations, multilateralism, sovereignty and free trade. And he noted that it is in that spirit that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has remained unstinting in its solidarity with Cuba and in calling for an end to the embargo, which runs counter to both the letter and spirit of the Charter and serves no justifiable legal, political or moral purpose within contemporary international relations.
“Despite such significant challenges, Cuba continues to show itself to be a key regional and international partner and actor. CARICOM member States, in keeping with our policy of mutual respect of being good-neighbours and respect for the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, continues to have good relations with Cuba that has remained cordial and resilient through a continuing evolving hemispheric and international geopolitical landscape. Cuba maintains Embassies in all independent countries of the Caribbean Community and continues to show itself to be an integral part of the Caribbean.”
NARRATOR: Ambassador Bart said in that context, CARICOM and Cuba have developed and enjoyed mutually beneficial programmes of cooperation and trade in a number of key areas, including physical education and sports, accounting, the natural sciences, the humanities, the economy, special education, health and medicine.
He noted CARICOM's appreciation for Cuba’s proposal 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. This is Donn Bobb reporting.