OUR INTEGRATION HISTORY AND PRINCIPLES
Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the four independent Caribbean nations at the time; Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana were established forty three years ago on 8th December 1972. Subsequently, Cuba – CARICOM Day, including all of the independent nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was established on that same date, thirteen years ago, in 2002. Since the first celebration of Cuba – CARICOM Day, the bilateral relationship has grown from strength to strength, and Cuba – CARICOM Summits have been held on a consistent basis, every three years, testimony to which are recorded in the Havana Declaration (2002), the Bridgetown Declaration (2005), the Santiago de Cuba Declaration (2008), the Port of Spain Declaration (2011) and the Havana Declaration (2014). The principal underpinning of the relations between Cuba and CARICOM, as reiterated in these Declarations, has, and continues to be, the unyielding drive and commitment for the integration of the Caribbean Region based on respect for the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, and in International Law. Such unity and regional integration are further consolidated by the Parties’ unwavering commitment to sovereignty, self-determination, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of our Caribbean states, and the protection and promotion of the human rights of all.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) enjoys preferential treatment in trade with Cuba.
OUR RELATIVELY FLEDGLING INTEGRATION STATUS
While the mutual benefits of Cuba – CARICOM relations become more evident with each passing year, and while our regional integration process acquires greater consolidation with each Cuba – CARICOM Day Anniversary, there is no shortage of constantly unfolding events that serve to remind us of the still relatively fledgling nature of our integration, and of the status of our regional embrace as Caribbean nation states, and as Caribbean brothers and sisters.
A CALL FOR GREATER CARICOM CONSOLIDATION
As we observe Cuba – CARICOM Day this year, we cannot do so without deep thought on the present Cuban – American rapprochement that is evolving before our very eyes. Just as CARICOM has stood firmly by Cuba’s side during so many decades of hostilities emanating from the United States in response to Cuba’s social, political and economic system, so must CARICOM be prepared to continue to stand by our Caribbean sister, on matters of principle where sovereignty, peaceful co-existence, mutual non-interference, and the right to one’s choice of economic growth and development models are concerned. In this regard, the Humanistic Solidarity Association (Saint Lucia – Cuba) calls on the United States to completely remove the Blockade against Cuba and for the return of Guantánamo Bay to the Cuban people.
The Humanistic Solidarity Association (Saint Lucia – Cuba) wishes to take this opportunity to observe the example of Cuba, and how that nation has stood firmly for more than five decades, faced a crippling trade embargo from the world’s most powerful economy, and has stood solidly notwithstanding, providing generous aid to dozens of countries all around the globe, in health, education, sports, and many other areas of human development. Cuba has achieved these successes based on its adherence to certain principles. For one thing, Cuba has consistently stood by the philosophy that if one cannot stand for something, then he will fall for anything.
Long live the Cuba – CARICOM relationship and friendship! Long live CARICOM. Long live Cuba. We shall overcome.