Cuba-Grenada: The Example of Fidel Castro and Maurice Bishop

By Jorge Luna

Havana, May 2 (Prensa Latina) Fidel Castro and Maurice Bishop were models for their peoples and a legacy for history, said Ivette Martínez Leyva, Cuban Ambassador to Grenada, while describing the recent official visit paid by Grenadian Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to Cuba.    The friendship, trust, vision and accomplishment Fidel Castro saw in Maurice Bishop made Cubans part of the history of the Revolution in Grenada, from its establishment (March 1979) and development until its collapse back in October 1983, Martinez Leyva said.    In an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina, the Cuban diplomat stated that “to bring to light the lives of two great revolutionaries is to be loyal to a history we should feel proud of”.
   Martinez Leyva recalled that the legacy of Fidel Castro and Maurice Bishop was present throughout Mitchell’s visit (April 11-14), on the 45th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations.

   In a telephone conversation from Saint George’s, where she arrived five months ago in her capacity as ambassador, Martínez Leyva stressed that the current government of Grenada highly praises history and works to “reveal such a legacy to the new generations and to include the heroes in the social and political imagination of Grenadians”.    She added that it is necessary to make people understand what political leaders did for the welfare, social balance and economic growth of the country. Regarding the current state of relations between the two nations, Martínez Leyva assured that “there is a direct exchange with government authorities in both countries and they are working passionately and steadily to reach mutual interests in cooperation agreements”.

   The Cuban ambassador informed that her country and Grenada have reached collaboration agreements in different areas including health, infrastructure, education, agriculture, aquaculture, culture and environmental preservation, which will develop further in the future.
   Regarding Mitchell’s official visit to Cuba, Martínez Leyva said that, upon his return to Grenada, the Grenadian leader himself described it as successful.   The Cuban diplomat was present at all meetings of Mitchell and his delegation with President Miguel Díaz-Canel and high-ranking Cuban authorities. “I can say admiration, respect, interest, willingness to cooperate, commitment to make a reality of what the visit was conceiving, was the permanent feeling”.    The official meetings, she said, were diaphanous, open, and of gratitude by the Cuban side for the permanent denunciation of Grenada against the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, and the unjust inclusion of Cuba in a list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

   Martinez Leyva also praised as a transcendental moment the visit paid by Mitchell and his companions to the Fidel Castro Ruz Center, in Havana, which presents -in hi-tech exhibits- the life and work of the historic leader of the Cuban revolution.
   “The visitors spoke insistently of the historical and educational value of that center and of the need to develop similar ideas in Grenada, so that the people relate more with their history”, she said.    She also described the Grenadian delegation’s interest in paying posthumous homage to Fidel Castro and Cuba’s National Hero, José Martí, at the Santa Ifigenia Heritage Cemetery in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.
   There, they revealed a sincere commitment with a project that has the people as its center and its principal beneficiary, according to the ambassador.
   In the Casa del Caribe, also in Santiago de Cuba, they were surprised to see a bust of Maurice Bishop with heroic dimensions, Martinez Leyba said and she stressed Dickon Mitchell´s interest in the history and memory of the people.
   During that visit, she pointed out, they made contact with the Caguayo Foundation so that very soon Granada may also have a bust of Bishop made by Cuban artist Alberto Lezcay.
   Asked about her personal experience as Cuban ambassador in Grenada, Martínez Leyva recalled that “from the very first contacts, I found sincere friends of Cuba, I identified new opportunities and wishes to materialize them soon”.
   That, she stressed, was fuel to take off and advance in precise objectives, such as the Prime Minister´s first official visit and the celebration of the 45th Anniversary of our diplomatic ties.

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