Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Sierra Diaz, last evening told a group of Barbadians that his country wants stronger ties with Barbados, building on the 45 years of cooperation and diplomatic relations between two states.
Here in Barbados from June 08 to 12, as part of a four-nation tour, Diaz reflected on relations with Barbados that included Cuba’s granting of health and other educational scholarships along with cultural exchanges, and assured persons gathered at the Clement Payne Cultural Centre, Crumpton Street, “this relationship will not change. On the contrary it will grow, be strengthened and broadened.”
He added that the two nations will “find new dynamic sectors in which we can exchange and cooperate”.
“You have always been beside us in the good times and the bad times,” he said, adding “thank you for your solidarity and friendship”.
While this is the Deputy Foreign Minister’s second trip here, he expressed special pride in being on this island because, “Barbados is the only island in the Caribbean in which our former president and commander In chief Fidel Castro has been three times. So, I have to be proud to be here”.
“I am here in order to emphasise the bonds between our two governments, to enforce our bilateral relations.”
Scheduled in the Deputy Foreign Minister’s tour are stops in Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and the Tobago, the nations who joined Barbados in becoming the first CARICOM member states to break Cuba’s regional isolation and establish diplomatic relations in 1972.
“This was a brave and dignified gesture by four Caribbean leaders in a time when the Cuban revolution was deeply isolated.
“This very clear action by four [territories] in the face of pressures and threats was enough for other islands of the Caribbean to join that decision, and for that reason we now have the cooperation and friendship and bonds that now bind us with the Caribbean community.”