Saturday, April 13, 2024

Deeper Cuba, Caricom unity


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THE CARIBBEAN Community and Cuba have pledged to strengthen regional integration based on “cooperation and solidarity”, as well as to deepen Caribbean and Latin American cooperation.
The pledges are outlined in a “declaration” released late Monday,  following last week’s Third Ministerial Meeting Of Foreign Affairs Ministers Of CARICOM And Cuba hosted by President Raoul Castro’s government in Havana.
The “declaration” also reiterated rejection of the 50-year-old economic and financial embargo by the United States against Cuba. This will be among hemispheric matters of importance to be addressed during the current new session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The ministerial meeting, held variously in capitals of Cuba and CARICOM states, normally precedes that of the summit of Heads of Government that occurs every three years.
Decisions of the just-concluded Havana meeting, to be forwarded to heads of government, will include arrangements to inaugurate establishment of a Community of Latin America and Caribbean to be known by the Spanish acronym CELAC.
Creation of CELAC, which will not include either the United States or Canada, is viewed in some quarters as likely to weaken the traditional role and influence of the Washington-based Organisation of American States (OAS).
However, there was no such stated intention when the idea to create CELAC was adopted at last February’s summit of Latin American and Caribbean leaders in Mexico.
In their “declaration”, the foreign ministers of CARICOM and Cuba underscored  the “conviction that only an integration based on cooperation, solidarity and common will to move towards higher levels of development, can satisfy the expectations of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean, while preserving their independence, sovereignty and identity . . .”.
HAITI. In reviewing post-earthquake reconstruction developments in Haiti, the ministerial meeting also agreed to “grant the highest priority to some of the critical areas, as determined by the Haitian government”.
They pointed to the creation of a “CARICOM-Haiti Fund” to facilitate the participation of the regional private sector in the Haiti’s reconstruction.

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