New parent body formed
April 20, 2007
New parent body formed

The newly formed association of parents of students studying in Cuba has come in for praise from Cuban Ambassador Olga Trias, who assured members that their children would return to St. Vincent as well rounded individuals.

In a frank discussion with members of the organization last Monday, Ambassador Trias admitted that Cuba was a nation that faced hardship because of the US blockade, but was always willing to assist others despite its economic problems.{{more}}

She explained, “We are not the perfect society, we have done wonderful things but we also have problems like any other country. We are the only country in the world that has been blockaded by the most powerful nation in the world for 50 years. We have lost US$96 billion in all the 48 years of blockade, and in spite of that we have never closed a school, never closed a hospital and we have never told a foreign student to go home.”

She pointed out that not only would the students return as professionals but

as mature human beings since they would have to find ways of tackling issues of everyday life.

Ambassador Trias said that Cuba has a population of 11 million of which 27,000 were foreign students; and that Cuba was the only third world country that had educated over 200,000 students from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

She said that Cuba and this country officially established diplomatic relations in 1992 but Vincentians had been studying in Cuba long before that. Ambassador Trias said that there were presently 165 Vincentian students in Cuba, and she believes that education was the best resource that any country could possess.

The Ambassador said that by forming the association, parents could work together to be more informed about their children’s welfare and even organize trips to visit them, reaffirming that the students were learning in a safe environment where crime was low.

Meanwhile, Chief Personnel Officer Bernard Morgan congratulated the ambassador for initiating the formation of the organization, but was most thankful for the training assistance from the government and people of Cuba.

He pointed out, “As a developing country we need to do all possible to train people in different areas to build capacity, to grow and take off to become prosperous. In this regard, Cuba has been a brother working along with us, side by side, trying to get us, on our way to growth and development.

Chief Nursing Officer, Audrey Scott also expressed gratitude to the government and people of Cuba and praised the parents for organizing themselves into one body to negotiate on behalf of their children.