Foreign Affairs ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Republic of Cuba met at the iconic Tryp Habana Libre Hotel in Havana, Cuba, on March 11, 2017, for the Fifth Ministerial Meeting of CARICOM-Cuba. As noted in the official communique, the meeting also marks the commemoration of the Forty-fifth Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Independent States of CARICOM and Cuba and the Fifteenth Anniversary of Cuba-CARICOM Day.
Discussion items at the Meeting touched on climate change, cooperation in areas of mutual concern such as food security, education and health, solidarity with the Republic of Haiti, reparations for slavery, CARICOM countries’ inclusion on the EU’s list of non-cooperative tax list, the promotion of sustainable tourism, migrants’ rights, inter alia.
Caribbean countries have been among the most vocal supporters of Cuba in the face of the illegal US embargo. The official communique concluded with a call for “the President of the United States to use his broad executive powers to substantially change the application of the blockade and the Congress of that country to proceed with its elimination”.
Ministers also acknowledged the legacies of the late former Cuban President, Dr. Fidel Castro, and former Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister, Patrick Manning, who died last year, and the former Haitian President, Rene Preval who passed away last week.
The full communique may be viewed here.
Alicia Nicholls, B.Sc., M.Sc., LL.B., is a trade and development consultant with a keen interest in sustainable development, international law and trade. You can also read more of her commentaries and follow her on Twitter @LicyLaw.