Speech by Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the closing session of the III Cuba – CARICOM Ministerial Meeting. September 17th, 2010.
Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica:
His Excellency Mr. Calin Granderson, CARICOM Under Secretary-General:
Distinguished Foreign Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the Caribbean sister nations:
The time has come to officially conclude our works, after a day that confirms the usefulness of this mechanism of dialogue, and the benefit of having a forum of our own for a systematic exchange on the topics that unite and are of interest to CARICOM member States and Cuba.
Our deliberations identified a common concern about international issues that have a special impact on the Caribbean peoples and nations, particularly those related to an international economic order biased against the interests of developing countries.
Finally, we have also renewed our commitment to defend peace and multilateralism in the face of the threats and challenges lingering upon humankind. Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz has been indefatigably warning the world public opinion about these threats.
This meeting has confirmed our common will to call for concrete and legally binding agreements at the next Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climatic Change. Climate Change has been identified as the main threat facing humankind and the most important challenge for the development of Small Island States.
The decision to create the Latin American and Caribbean States Community as well as the steps required by its ultimate launching in July 2011 have raised a remarkable interest.
We share the idea that it is indispensable to transform the current international order so that our peoples sovereignty be fully respected, and we all have access to social and economic development, without an unequal exchange, without the heavy burden of the foreign debt, without any conditions.
The Declaration that was adopted is a reflection of our concerns and our endeavors to act together in favor of our common interests.
It also confirms the reciprocal willingness to strengthen the friendship and cooperation relations that we have, based on solidarity and mutual respect. It reinforces the commitment to continue to develop and consolidate the cooperation programs in the fields that we have identified.
The declaration we have adopted regarding Haiti deserves a special mention. It is a reflection of the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood encouraging the Caribbean peoples, which we have the right to feel proud of. This is a sister nation, the first to attain independence in our vast region and the first to abolish slavery.
The Caribbeans and Latin Americans, particularly those who are heirs of enslaved Africans, have a debt of gratitude with the Haitian people. It is fair and necessary that we take the avant-garde and call for help and solidarity with that sister nation.
I thank you a lot, on behalf of the people and the government of the Republic of Cuba, for your statements about the need to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba.
In closing this meeting, we anticipate the conviction that the next summit meeting, to be held in Trinidad and Tobago, in December 2011, will be an additional step forward in the progressive development of relations among the CARICOM nations and Cuba, down the path of harmony and cooperation that we have been building for more than 30 years.
Once again I thank all Prime Ministers and Heads of delegations as well as the CARICOM Under Secretary-General for their participation. Their contribution and presence will always be welcomed in the continued strengthening of out relations.
Thank you very much.