Seven diplomats and officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade are participating in Spanish and cultural classes being offered by the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation (VICC), which is the cultural branch of the Venezuelan Embassy to Barbados.
The classes, which began on September 25, marked the 51st anniversary of diplomatic relations between Barbados and Venezuela.
During the opening ceremony and orientation class, Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy, Álvaro Sánchez Cordero, stated: “There is no better way to celebrate this meaningful milestone than joining hands with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, and the people of Barbados, in this cultural and educational endeavour offered by Venezuela.”
Sanchez Cordero added that “in spite of all difficulties, Venezuela will always be there to cooperate with Barbados”, and expressed his appreciation to Permanent Secretary, Simone Rudder and Deputy Permanent Secretary, Donna Forde, for accepting the learning opportunity presented by the VICC.
In addition to the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, several persons from the Barbados International Business Association were also engaged to participate in the course, as well as several Barbadians who approached the Embassy individually. They ranged from tourist industry workers to pilots, private sector employees and retirees.
At their first meeting, teachers and students met to introduce themselves, talk about the rules of the course and to enjoy a video on Venezuelan music, gastronomy and culture.
New student Cheryl Jones, who is a diplomat posted in the Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations, said: “The cultural cooperation programme would open doors for better relations between Barbados and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela by allowing the residents of both countries to experience the cultures of the people.”
Another student, Executive Officer, Caroline Mason, described the classes as “a wonderful opportunity to learn firsthand about the culture of Venezuela, while learning the language”.
“Barbados and Venezuela are on the same side of the world and our people should have more opportunities to learn about each other,” she stated.
The instructors of the course are Monica Rey, Melza Archibald and Joseph Inniss Mr. Archibald has been teaching Spanish at the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation for 35 years continuously.
The course is being offered online due to Covid-19 considerations, and will run until December 8, 2020.