Prime Minister Skerrit defends CARICOM-Cuba relations

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on Friday defended the decision of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to call for an end to the economic and trade embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba, saying that the region’s position does not should not be considered “un-American”.

Skerrit, who received a rousing welcome at Douglas Charles Airport on his return from Cuba where he received the Jose Marti Award, the country’s highest honour, told a press conference that regional leaders should meet the Vice President of the United States. Kamala Harris later Friday.

“We are not in CARICOM to support Cuba in our call to lift the embargo because of what we have received. No, we are doing it on principle,” Skerrit said.

“In fact, this year will mark 50 years since CARICOM-Cuba relations with the pioneers, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana challenged the international order of the day and established relations with Cuba.

“So we have had a relationship in CARICOM for 50 years and the reality is if you have a brother in trouble, what do you do? And if you have a brother who is oppressed, what do you do, what do you say?

“So it’s not an anti-American position, it’s a matter of justice and fairness, that’s all,” Skerrit told reporters.

He said the United Nations has consistently called over the past decade for the embargo to be lifted, with only Washington and Israel voting in favor of the measure.

“So the whole world and if you take a poll in the United States of America, you will find that the majority of American citizens will tell you that this embargo should be lifted. So it is a question of injustice and the need for the Cuban people to truly have the opportunity to be part of the global system”.

Skerrit said that with most international finance and trade issues flowing through the United States, it was important for Havana to be part of the “mainstream economic system.”

Prime Minister Skerrit said that despite the embargo, Cuba has been able to achieve significant milestones in the areas of health, science and disaster relief to countries.

“A lot of people don’t know, Cuba played a huge role in the apartheid era, supporting Nelson Mandela…Cuba helped in Angola, Cuba helped in what used to be called Rhodesia and now known as Zimbabwe’s name and all African states have benefited from Cuba’s contribution to their independence,” Skerrit said.

“Here in the Caribbean, in every country, if you were to remove trained Cuban doctors and Cuban doctors from the health system of all CARICOM countries without exception, the health systems would collapse,” he said. he declares.

The U.S. embargo against Cuba prevents U.S. companies and businesses organized under U.S. law or majority-owned by U.S. citizens from doing business with Cuban interests. It is the longest-lasting trade embargo in modern history.

Washington has maintained the comprehensive economic embargo on Cuba in place since 1962, when President John F Kennedy declared a trade embargo between the two countries in response to certain actions taken by the Cuban government, and ordered the Departments of Commerce and of the Treasury to implement the embargo, which is still in place.