Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Chair, Belize Prime Minister John Briceño, spoke up for Cuba and Venezuela at the just-ended Summit of the Americas in the United States, criticising the exclusion of the two countries from the gathering.
“The Summit belongs to all of the Americas,” Briceño told the event.
He declared that the Summit’s power is in the space it provides for countries of the Americas to dialogue and agree on joint actions.
“It is therefore inexcusable that all countries of the Americas are not here, and the power of the Summit diminished by their absence. It is incomprehensible that we would isolate countries of the Americas which have provided strong leadership and contributed to the hemisphere on the critical issues of our time,” the CARICOM Chair asserted.
He observed that Cuba had provided consistent, unmatched cooperation in health to almost two-thirds of the countries in the hemisphere, including Belize.
And Briceño declared that the illegal blockade against Cuba is an affront to humanity, continuing to cause untold suffering.
“It is un-American,” he expressed.
In this regard, Briceño told the Summit it was time to lift the United States Cuba blockade and build bonds of friendship with the Spanish-speaking Island.
The Belize Prime Minister also noted that Venezuela had done much toward energy security for the Caribbean region through its innovative financing programmes.
As a result, he described Venezuela’s absence from the Summit as unforgivable.
“Excellencies, at this most critical juncture when the future of our hemisphere is at stake, we stand divided. And that is why this Summit of the Americas should have been inclusive. Belize rejects the unilateral right of any country to impose exclusions. We assert unequivocally, that the principle of inclusivity must be the touchstone of all future summits. Geography, not politics, defines the Americas,” Briceño said.