2nd Cuba-Caricom Summit Begins Today in Barbados
Bridgetown, Barbados, Dec 7, (P26).- The Second Cuba-CARICOM Summit Begins today. Deputy Ministers and officials from 15 CARICOM member nations and Cuba will discuss issues of mutual interest at the Hilton hotel before submitting them for consideration by foreign ministers and leaders of the region.
Top on the agenda is an evaluation of the joint collaboration plans within a process of strengthening the ties of friendship and cooperation between these island nations.
This Wednesday, the foreign ministers of the participating countries will meet to discuss a final declaration to be submitted for approval to the Caribbean leaders the following day.
Cuban assistance with CARICOM nations takes place in several sectors, but mainly in health and education.
The island is currently offering free Ophthalmology services to the Caribbean peoples and already over 10,000 have been operated on in Cuba under the Operation Milagro eye-surgery program.
The 2nd Summit will also following up the agreements reached during the previous meeting which was held in Havana in 2002. Several agreements were reached during the first Cuba-CARICOM Summit. Many of these have been implemented while others are being developed. Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Caribbean began 33 years ago.
On Thursday the 8th, speeches are scheduled by the Barbados and Santa Lucia prime ministers, Owen Arthur and Kenny Anthony.
Sources at the summit said another topic of debate among the Caribbean leaders will be the effects of the current international politics on the development of the region.
Another important element in relations with Cuba has been the support of the Caribbean community in the island's foreign polices particularly the struggles against the US blockade.
During a special ceremony, tribute will be paid in memory of the victims of the terrorist sabotage of a Cuban airliner off the coast of Barbados in 1976, killing all 73 passengers and flight crew.