Press release 150/2002
(10 December 2002)

THE HAVANA DECLARATION ON THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN MEMBER STATES OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY AND THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA.

 
 

 

The Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community and the Republic of Cuba (hereinafter collectively called “ the Parties”;

Recalling the historic and momentous decision taken by the four independent Caribbean Countries of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago at the Seventh Conference of Heads of Government of Commonwealth Caribbean Countries on 14 October 1972 “to seek the early establishment of relations with Cuba, whether economic or diplomatic or both”; 

Acknowledging that the establishment of diplomatic relations by Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago with the Republic of Cuba on 8 December 1972 attested to the political independence, unity of purpose and courage of the leaders of those States, represented a historic breakthrough which encouraged the reinsertion of the Republic of Cuba into hemispheric diplomatic relations and constituted an affirmation that Cuba is an integral part of the Caribbean family;

Noting that on the attainment of independence and inspired by the courageous actions of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and  the OECS Member Countries of CARICOM - Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica,Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines - all established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba; 

Further noting that the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Republic of Haiti and the Republic of Suriname have also established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba;

Mindful of the contribution of the Republic of Cuba to the social and economic development of the Member States of the Caribbean Community, in particular, through the provision of scholarships and of technical expertise; the deployment of medical personnel; the assistance provided by Cuba in periods of natural disasters; and the opening of its economy to facilitate greater trade and economic linkages with the Region and beyond;

Mindful also of the cultural and other links which exists between the Peoples of the Parties, their shared aspirations for the development of the Caribbean Civilisation, as reflected in their peculiar artistic, political and social expressions;

Acknowledging also the importance of transparent and accountable governance and the protection of human, social, political and economic rights for a sustainable economic and social development;

Recalling also the initiative of CARICOM countries in effecting participation of the Republic of Cuba in the wider Association of Caribbean States and the active role that the Republic of Cuba has played in the Association, particularly in the area of international transport;

Recalling also the role of the CARIFORUM States in securing the full participation of the Republic of Cuba in the grouping of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States;

Welcoming the Republic of Cuba’s involvement in the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery which is mandated to participate in negotiations in the search for a rules based multilateral trading system which caters for the interest of economically vulnerable small island and low-lying coastal States such as those of the Caribbean;

Committed to respect for and the promotion of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and, in particular, the sovereign independence, territorial integrity, non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of States and the sustainable development of their human, natural and economic resources;

Recognising that the negative aspects of globalisation and trade liberalisation require bold and innovative initiatives to reverse the deterioration in the terms of trade between developed and developing countries;

Welcoming the discussions held during this Summit on “ The Integration of the Caribbean: Its Political, Economic and Social Dimensions: Challenges and Prospects” and the opportunity to hold a full exchange on the political, economic, social and security realities of the Caribbean Region, particularly the further economic integration of their countries;

CALL once again for the immediate lifting of the unjust economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed against the Republic of Cuba, which is contrary to international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter;

REAFFIRM the right of the Republic of Cuba not to be excluded from any multilateral process;

REAFFIRM their commitment to support the early accession of Cuba to the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement;

ACCEPT with appreciation the offer of the Republic of Cuba to provide the necessary expertise for the establishment, in a Member State of the Caribbean Community of a technical teaching centre for nursing and other medical specialities with a capacity to train up to two hundred professionals from all CARICOM States with particular competence with regard to HIV/AIDS;

RECOGNISE the need to strengthen existing integration institutions and mechanisms, as well as, where necessary, to create new ones;

DECIDE to observe on the 8th day of December of each year as Cuba/CARICOM Day, and

FURTHER decide to hold on that day, every three years, a meeting of Heads of State and Government of Cuba and CARICOM countries, rotating the venue of the Summit meetings between Cuba and CARICOM countries and entrusting to the host Government of each meeting the task of preparing the Meeting;

AND FURTHER DECIDE to hold a Meeting at Ministerial level, within eighteen months of each Summit Meeting, to focus on the priority issues facing the Caribbean Region.

ADOPTED in Havana, Cuba on the 8th day of December 2002.
 

 
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