Our Readers' Opinions
June 15, 2007
Ambassador: Cuba not involved in SVG politics!

15.JUN.07

Editor: I would like to make few comments on the declarations of Senator St. Claire Leacock, last 8th of June, concerning the eventual participation of 500 Cubans in the elections of 2011. He inferred that the presence of Cubans for the construction of the International Airport would help the Unity Labour Party to use them as voters in “strategic constituencies that matter and ensure that you continue to suffer and be victimized.”{{more}}

It is really very sad to hear a Senator representing a Party which, in an act of wisdom and political courage, established diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1992 and which Government was also able to develop such good relations with my country, including high level contacts between the ex-Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell and President Fidel Castro, to now appear in the forefront of the attacks to the bilateral relations between Cuba and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The accusation made is utterly irresponsible. It is aimed to create fear in the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines about the distinguished contribution The Republic of Cuba is making to the development of this country in the direct interest of its people. It is opportune to remind that this sort of cooperation that Cuba has today is with all the Caribbean countries and not only with St Vincent and the Grenadines. In the recent 45th Meeting of the OECS authority held in Grenada, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Hon Felipe Perez Rogue was invited to review the different projects that had been implemented between Cuba and these countries. Some days later, here in Kingstown, during the 2nd Meeting of Ministers of foreign Affair of CARICOM/CUBA, the same exercise was done, in this case related to Cuba’s involvement in the different projects with all CARICOM countries.

As everyone is aware, the fields in which Cuba contributes with Developing and Under Developed countries the world over, are in the areas of Health, not to forget Operation Vision Now, which had given back the vision to so many thousands of our Caribbean sisters and brothers, education, agriculture, culture, the fight against HIV/AIDS among many other important projects, such as the recently completed in the Caribbean region for the saving of Energy, as part of the Energetic Revolution. Besides, in the case of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Health Complex in Georgetown (Diagnostic Centre) and, together with the Government of Venezuela, the new International Airport at Argyle.

Cuba does not use its contribution to influence the internal policy of any country. We had been in cooperation with many countries in the world and not one had been able to prove any interference of Cuba in the internal affairs of any country. As PM Ralph Gonsalves said in the recent OACE Meeting held in Grenada last month (May) “Cuba never ask any one of us anything in retribution of its help”…This had been and would always be the policy of the Cuban Government.

No, distinguished Senator Leacock, in the elections of 2010 you will not see Cuban voters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. What you are going to see is Cuban Doctors saving lives in the Health Complex in Georgetown and a new Airport which will give your beautiful country the possibility of having a more active and profitable Tourist Industry, which in turn, will have a positive impact in the economy of SVG and in the lives of its people.

Let’s not allow bipartisan politics to interfere in the bilateral relations between Cuba and St Vincent. It would be a tragedy if the links between Cuba and St Vincent and the Grenadines would have to pass through the interests of Parties or mix with electoral matters. The Cuban contribution to this country is for the benefit of Vincentian people, not withstanding to which party a person belongs or how she/he has voted.

Converting the relations between Cuba and St Vincent and the Grenadines into an internal political matter, would be similar to what happened when the links between Cuba and the United States were kidnapped by the Cuban/American Mafia of Miami. This is the reason why, till today, United States aggressive policy and the Blockade against Cuba is still in force, against the wishes of the American people.

With my highest considerations,

Olga Chamero Trias
Ambassador for Cuba.