September 23, 2020

United States-Cuba news hailed by Caribbean governments/Cayman Islands Premier’s message

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cuba-567x401From Journal

It will be some time before the impact of the ’ thawing with Cuba on the rest of the Caribbean becomes clear.

For now, the Caribbean’s leaders have officially welcomed the move, something for which CARICOM and the region’s leaders have been advocating for years.

Here is how some Caribbean leaders responded to the news:

“This represents courageous action by the Governments of the United States and Cuba that will ultimately serve the best interest of the people of both countries and establish the foundation for the next required logical step of a total and formal end of the United States’ unilateral trade embargo against Cuba. The normalization of the relationship between these two countries of the Americas is a victory for all the peoples of the Americas. It is also a vindication of the principled position of Jamaica, the Members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), as well as people across the globe who for decades have called for dialogue and mutual respect between the two countries, and for an end to the unilateral sanctions imposed against Cuba by the USA.”

— Jamaica Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller

“I recall with pride that only 9 days ago on the occasion of CARICOM-Cuba Day in Havana, as Chairman of CARICOM, I called on President Obama and the US Congress to end the senseless embargo of Cuba. It is a matter of great satisfaction to me that the steadfast support that CARICOM countries took – beginning in 1972 with Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados – to stop the isolation of Cuba has helped to produce this result. Both the United States and Cuba have a great deal to contribute to the well-being and development of our Hemisphere, and our peoples can now look forward to new energy and new resources being unleashed in a spirit of cooperation. President Obama deserves praise for his enlightened decision — Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne

“St. Kitts and Nevis, the Governments of the Caribbean, the Governments of the entire western hemisphere, and Governments all across the globe had long asserted that the half-century old policy of the United States toward Cuba advanced the interests of neither the United States nor those of the Cuban people. We look forward to witnessing the benefits that are sure to accrue to the Governments and peoples of both the United States and Cuba as a result of this historic decision.”

— St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas

“Today, the United States has answered the call of humanity. Today, the United States has finally heard what Caribbean leaders have always said, and what has been proven: their decades’ long policy of isolationism of Cuba has not worked. It is way past time to remove the embargo. It is the progressive, wise, and right thing to do. The modern day realities of globalization demand that this be done. Cuba too, understands that they need to move with the times.”

— Grenada Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell

“[The] announcement by President Obama and President Castro is a huge leap in a positive direction. Socially, economically, geographically, we are all joined in a common mission of a better and more secure life for our people. After almost half a century, two very close neighbours have started talking again and we can expect a great deal of benefit to redound to the people of both nations and indeed to the entire region.”

  • Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

IMAGE: Antigua PM Gaston Browne with Cuba President Raul Castro earlier this month

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribjournal.com/2014/12/18/united-states-cuba-news-hailed-by-caribbean-governments/

 

From the Office of the Premier of the Cayman Islands

premier-alden-mcLaughlin 1Hon. Alden McLaughlin

“I congratulate President Barack Obama for making efforts to restore diplomatic and economic ties between the United States and Cuba. The re-establishment of a US embassy on Cuban soil that is being proposed would benefit Caymanians who hold US passports as well as our resident US citizens. I expect a further easing of restrictions on US residents traveling to Cuba in the near future. I understand that Cuban President Raul Castro has welcomed the restoration of the relationship with the United States and has said the two countries must live with their differences in a civilized manner. I congratulate both men for beginning to end the chilled relations that have existed between the two countries since 1961.”

 

Puerto Rico: U.S. Shift on Cuba will have impact on Caribbean trade, tourism

8415777wFrom Latin American Herald Tribune

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico’s secretary of state said on Wednesday that the United States’ plans to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba – and potentially lift its longstanding economic embargo on the Communist-ruled island – will have a major impact on the Caribbean trade and tourism sectors.

“This decision is not only important for Cuba and the U.S., but also for the Caribbean region, because there is now a major player that, once fully open to the U.S., will have a significant impact on all trade and tourism,” David Bernier told Efe.

This move by the U.S. and Cuban governments will present the Caribbean countries with a “slew of opportunities and challenges,” he said, adding that they “need to be prepared to respond appropriately.”

“It will create many opportunities for Puerto Rican entrepreneurs. Puerto Rico has carved out a unique role in tourism, and once Cuba begins the process of opening to the U.S. a search for growth opportunities must begin,” Bernier said.

He made those remarks after U.S. President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, announced they will start the process of restoring full bilateral relations, which were severed in January 1961.

As part of the process of rapprochement, Havana released American contractor Alan Gross, who had been imprisoned on the island for five years after being convicted of subversion.

The United States also freed three Cuban spies from the so-called “Group of Five” in exchange for a U.S. intelligence agent imprisoned in Cuba for nearly 20 years.

Obama acknowledged in his address on Wednesday that Gross’ imprisonment was a major obstacle in the way of his plans to restore relations with Cuba.

“I completely agree with Obama’s decision,” Bernier said, adding that it will “ultimately benefit both countries.”

The decision to free the Cuban spies also has raised hopes in the U.S. commonwealth that Obama will heed local calls for the release of Puerto Rican pro-independence activist Oscar Lopez Rivera, who was convicted in 1981 of seditious conspiracy and has been imprisoned for 33 years.

“Obama is starting to take, at this stage of his presidency, a more sensible approach in his decisions and that’s why we all demand the freedom of Oscar as we are convinced that this is a fair and righteous demand,” Bernier said.

Lopez Rivera, 71, was sentenced to 55 years in prison and in 1987 an additional 15 years were added to his sentence for conspiracy to escape from prison.

For more on this story go to: http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2365706&CategoryId=14092

 

 

CARICOM welcomes Cuba moves

By Bert Wilkinson From Caribbean Life

GEORGETOWN, Guyana_Caribbean trade bloc governments which had as far back as 1972 defied the United States and had established diplomatic relations with Cuba Wednesday openly welcomed moves by the U.S. to improve relations with the communist-ruled island saying such is long overdue.

“Today’s announcement signals the beginning of a new era in our hemisphere and demonstrates the value of dialogue as a means of settling differences. The community commends Presidents Obama and Castro for their bold initiative,” the bloc said in a statement issued by its Guyana-based headquarters.

CARICOM’s reaction came exactly nine days after regional leaders had flown to Cuba to participate in the triennial summit between the two sides in Havana where they had again called on the U.S. to normalize relations and lift the decades-old economic embargo.

“Both Cuba and the United States have played major roles in assisting the development efforts of our member states and we look forward to working together with them as they move forward in building their relationship.

The bloc said that while CARICOM welcomes this positive development, the community said it looks forward to further steps being taken with dispatch towards the lifting of the economic, trade and financial embargo.

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2014/12/2014-12-17-bw-cubausa-cl_2014_12.html

 

A victory for Latin America and Caribbean – President – as he reacts to move by US to improve relations with Cuba

President-RamotarFrom Guyana Chronicle

THE latest move by the United States of America’s President, Barrack Obama, to establish formal relations with Cuba has been welcomed by President Donald Ramotar who described it as “a major step forward in the right direction”. President Ramotar, in an invited comment by the Government Information Agency (GINA), said it was the culmination of struggles against the Cuban blockade, which began decades ago, one which few leaders dared to oppose. Dr. Cheddi

Jagan, even though Guyana was still a colony, was one who voiced his support for the and its people and moved to break the blockade, the President noted. “He traded with Cuba, with rice and sugar, and timber”. It was the struggle of the People’s Progressive Party, along with other progressive regional forces, he added, that led to four Caribbean countries, formally recognising Cuba in 1972. “This was a very important step towards breaking the isolation of Cuba in the Region”. Cuba and the United Sates must be congratulated for the steps being taken at present, the President said, as it was “long overdue, but better late than never”.

The change in the US stance will be important to the Region too, as the Caribbean nation has contributed a great deal to human resource development within all the countries of the Region and Latin America, President Ramotar emphasised. He said Cuba has helped to train people so that Guyana could have technical skills, “so this is a victory for the hemisphere, Latin America and the Caribbean”.

The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday.

The announcement came amid a series of sudden confidence-building measures between the longtime foes, including the release of American prisoner Alan Gross and a U.S. spy held in Cuba, and the freeing of three Cubans jailed in the U.S

IMAGE: President Donald Ramota

For more on this story go to: http://guyanachronicle.com/a-victory-for-latin-america-and-caribbean-president-as-he-reacts-to-move-by-us-to-improve-relations-with-cuba/

 

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