IN THE WAKE of the death of more than 30 persons who died when an explosion occurred at the Saratoga Hotel in Cuba last week, the Cuba-SVG Friendship Society has extended a hand of solidarity. In a statement signed by co-ordinator, Bernard Hamilton the Society said: “It is with profound sorrow and deep regret that the Cuba SVG Friendship Society received the sad news of the deadly explosion that destroyed the Saratoga, one of Cuba’s five-star hotels, resulting in the loss of lives of 35 persons (to date) with 19 others unaccounted for, and serious injuries to workers and other Havana residents which occurred on Friday, May 6. “The major tragedy is another blow to the country’s tourism industry which is only just attempting to recover from the disastrous consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This disaster also occurred at a time when the country is still struggling from the tightening of the economic sanctions imposed by the former US president Trump administration for 60 years now which are disappointingly continued by his successor, president, Joe Biden. These events all combine to inflict further pain and suffering on the Cuban people who historically have shown tremendous resilience in the face of repeated adversities.
“The Cuba-SVG Friendship Society at this moment of grief extends most sincere condolences to the families of all those who have lost their loved ones in such tragic circumstances, and those who suffer the physical and psychological trauma from their injuries. “We in the Friendship Society continue to offer our solidarity and support to the heroic people and Government of Cuba.
“We once again call on the Government of the United States, Cuba’s closest neighbour, to actively commence the process of bringing an end to the punitive and unjust economic sanctions that have stymied the development of the Cuban nation and weakened its capacity to respond to crises of this nature.
“We wish to reassure our brothers and sisters of the Republic of Cuba that they can always count on our support and we stand steadfast and ready to assist where possible in helping to alleviate the setbacks resulting from this unfortunate tragedy”.