By Ashecia Sam. Updated 1:15 p.m., Monday, May 30, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves described the exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the ninth Summit of the Americas, as an erroneous and arrogant decision.
The statement was made during a political-cultural event held in Havana to celebrate thirty years of diplomatic ties between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba.
Dr. Gonsalves said: “St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba will continue to struggle together against the illegal and criminal embargo by the United States of America against Cuba.”
PM Gonsalves reiterated that he considers the decision by the United States Government not to issue an invitation to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to attend the summit of the Americas as insulting and noted that he will not attend the summit unless these countries are invited to attend on equal condition.
During the celebration which was attended by Cuban Prime Minister Emmanuel Marrero and representatives of Caribbean and African countries, Dr. Gonsalves highlighted the ties that unite the peoples of Cuba and St.Vincent and the Grenadines and the friendly relations with the historic leader Fidel Castro.
Dr. Gonsalves said he made his first official visit to Cuba in 2001 and since then he has developed what he described as a “tremendous friendship and personal relationship” with the then Cuban President.
The Vincentian Prime Minister said they have built between Cuba and St.Vincent and the Grenadines a very strong relationship with many practical forms of cooperation in different fields.
He also noted that Cuba has assisted this country selflessly and generously.
Meanwhile, Cuban Prime Minister Emmanuel Marrero highlighted the ties of brotherhood and solidarity between the two countries and their leaders.
The Cuban Prime Minister said he sees in Ralph Gonsalves “a political leader, a staunch defender of the integration and unity of the Caribbean region as an essential principle for the progress of small island developing states. “
Prime Minister Marrero noted that during the three decades of diplomatic relations “St. Vincent and the Grenadines has maintained a stance in the defence of the people’s self-determination, sovereignty and independence, a stance that is remarkably close to the most progressive political trends in the region, which the Cuban revolution identifies with.”
The Cuban Prime Minister added that Dr. Gonsalves’ active contribution and engagement with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America- The People’s Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) are a testament to this.
Prime Minister Marrero noted that there are currently seventy four (74) Cuban specialists working in St.Vincent and the Grenadines and another eighteen (18) Cuban specialists are being prepared to comprise two medical teams that will start working here in June.
He said: “Furthermore we have maintained cooperation in the area of medical training. Under this cooperation, there are three hundred and one young (301) Vincentians that have been trained in Cuba in specialties that are prioritized for the socio-economic development of their country and there are currently fifty (50) young students that have scholarships in our country.”
Cuba and St. Vincent and the Grenadines established diplomatic relations on May 26, 1992 and both governments have strengthened those ties on the basis of respect, cooperation and unity.