December 11, 2009
Ambassador Olga Trias calls for

The strong bond between Cuba and its CARICOM neighbors may one day lead to the Spanish speaking nation being relieved of US enforced economic sanctions.{{more}}

Cuban Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Olga Chamero Trias said that she believes that the continued pressure and support from the international community including the entire CARICOM, will eventually cause the trade embargo to be lifted, and its political prisoners freed from American jails.

“You have to remember that except for two countries, the majority of the international community has said No to the embargo and among them are all the Caribbean countries.”

“I do believe that this is an important pressure that the United States will have to hear.”

“In the case of the Cuban Five (Five Cuban Nationals jailed in the United States on spying charges) the only way they can be free is because of the solidarity of everyone decent and honest in the world… especially coming from our brothers and sisters in this area.”

Ambassador Trias was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday to commemorate Cuba/CARICOM Day, which is recognized on December 8th.

The ambassador noted that despite the many contributions that her country has given to not only St. Vincent and the Grenadines but the entire region, Cuba was grateful for these nations standing by its side- even if this was the only reciprocal gesture that could be made.

“We appreciate the consistent support of the CARICOM countries against the blockade. In all the international summits and meetings, CARICOM countries have supported Cuba in that important and vital aspect of our foreign policy. “

“Also, Cuba recognizes the support that our brothers and sister have been giving in the fight against terrorism especially in the specific case of Posada Carilles.”

She said that the step taken by the first four independent Caribbean nations: Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados and Jamaica in 1972 then by the other nations that followed, to declare their alliance with Cuba at a time when hostilities against the Fidel Castro- run country was high.

“The decision taken by those countries was unquestionably brave. Cuba will never forget that noble gesture of its Caribbean brothers and sisters.”

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade, Permanent Secretary Andreas Wickham said that the relationship between this country and Cuba has been a sound one based on solidarity and mutual respect.

Wickham spoke of assistance that this country has and is currently received from the Cuban Government (including the construction of the Argyle International Airport and in the areas of health culture and education) and indicated that this country would do all it can to support its neighbor.

“We are a very small developing country, but we have one voice as an independent nation in the United Nations and other international fora and we have been over the years supportive of Cuba.”

“There are areas of cooperation which we have to move further on; we are working within the context of CARICOM to see how best we can improve the trading relationship with Cuba because there are lots of Cuban products and services which can be bought by CARICOM and vice versa.”

“Cuba is a country in the Caribbean, it is a sister nation, we have developed a very good relationship with Cuba and we are going to maintain that relationship with Cuba because we see there are mutual benefits to be had from our levels of cooperation.”

As part of activities to celebrate Cuba/CARICOM Day which was first declared in 2002, the embassies in Cuba were treated to a luncheon and other ceremonies.

Here at home, the screening of a Cuban and a local movie was held on Wednesday.(JJ)