The Caribbean Community on Tuesday renewed its call for an end to the United States’ five-decade-old trade embargo against Cuba.
“CARICOM knows well the value of unity on the international front given that coordination of foreign policy is one of the pillars of our integration movement,” Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque said as he accepted the credentials of Cuba’s new envoy to the regional grouping, Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante.
“We have, as a bloc, joined with like-minded states to both advance and protect our interests and support causes and initiatives of priority concern to us,” LaRocque said.
“This is why we have consistently supported United Nations resolutions aimed at ending the U.S. embargo on Cuba and will continue to do so,” he said.
Washington imposed the trade and economic embargo against Havana in late 1962, nearly four years after Fidel Castro came to power with the overthrow of the Batista regime.
The relationship between Cuba and CARICOM is unique, LaRocque said.
“In fact, since the historic day of 8 December 1972, which saw the establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba by Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, the bonds of friendship and solidarity between our countries have grown and deepened significantly,” he said.
LaRocque said the relationship between Cuba and CARICOM has been a trailblazer in South-South cooperation, highlighted by summits every three years and meetings of foreign ministers every 18 months.
“These high-level political encounters provide our countries with the opportunity to discuss areas of mutual interest and identify areas for cooperation. That cooperation has also extended to the practice of mutual support in the hemispheric and international arenas,” he said.