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President David Granger on Saturday assured the Republic of Cuba of Guyana’s solidarity relative to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the Government of the United States of America (USA).
President Granger was at the time meeting with Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla; Director General of Latin America and the Caribbean Division, Ambassador Eugenio Martinez Enriquez and Cuban Ambassador to Guyana, His Excellency Narciso Reinaldo Amador Socorro, at the Ministry of the Presidency.
Minister Parrilla travelled to Guyana for the Sixth Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Caricom and Cuba which was held on June 14, 2019.
“We have historically over four decades, regarded the integrity and sovereignty of Cuba in this hemisphere. We have taken a very strong and principled position on the question of the blockade and we will continue to give our support for the lifting of the blockade,” President Granger said.
The Head of State noted that the blockade is an aberration of international relations which have been perpetrated by one state against another.
“We will continue to insist that the unlawful blockade against the Cuban people is lifted; it is something which is really part of the previous era of the cold war, it has no place in modern international relations. So, you can count on our solidarity in this regard,” he said.
On Friday, Caricom’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs in a declaration adopted at the conclusion of the Sixth Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Caricom and Cuba, rejected the imposition of unilateral coercive measures while calling for an “immediate and unconditional end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the Government of the United States of America against Cuba.
The statement released by the Caricom Secretariat also called for the end to what was described as the extraterritorial nature and the financial persecution of Cuban transactions, the severity of which has increased.
“In this regard, we denounce the application of the new measures under the Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, legislation which flagrantly violates International Law and undermines the sovereignty and interests of third parties, announced by the US Government which strengthens the US blockade against Cuba.”
Additionally, President Granger iterated that economic development and peace in the Caribbean Bloc contributes to international peace and security.
“I would like to assure you, the Cuban Government, of the Government of Guyana’s solidarity in removing this blockade which has hampered economic development. I see the Caribbean as being not only a zone of peace, not only from a political or military point of view but also as one of economic stability,” the Head of State said.
President Granger and the Cuban Foreign Minister discussed matters of mutual interest including climate change and the environment, the protection of wildlife, renewable energy and healthcare, to name a few.
The President thanked the Government of Cuba for providing excellent and professional healthcare to him while he was being treated there for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma over the past few months. “I would like to iterate my gratitude to President Miguel Díaz-Canel, the Vice-President…yourself and the doctors at Centro de Investigaciones Medico Quirurgicas (CIMEQ) for the excellent care given to me,” President Granger said.
Meanwhile, Parrilla thanked Guyana for its continued support. He said Guyana and Cuba have a history of cooperation and collaboration and reiterated that the two countries will continue to work on areas of mutual interest.
“We would never forget Guyana’s contribution dating back to 1972 [when diplomatic relations were established],” the Cuban Foreign Minister said while noting that despite the challenging times faced as a result of the blockade, Cubans remain resilient.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Karen Cummings; Minister of State, Dawn Hastings-Williams; Guyana’s Ambassador to Cuba, Halim Majeed; Director Generals of the Ministries of the Presidency and Foreign Affairs, Joseph Harmon and Audrey Waddell respectively, also attended Saturday morning’s meeting.