Speech delivered by HE Julio César González Marchante, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cuba to CARICOM and Ambassador to Guyana on the celebration of Cuba-CARICOM Day and the signing of the Technical-Cooperation Agreement CARICOM-Guyana-Cuba to create a Centre to stimulate the development of children, adolescents and young people with special educational needs associated with disabilities. (December 8th, 2016, CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana).
Still shocked by the recent physical disappearance of Commander-in-Chief and leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz, we arrived at the 44th Anniversary of the establishment of relations between the Caribbean Community CARICOM and Cuba, of which Fidel was and will continue to be the architect of its unity and action for the wellbeing of our nations.
We recall with gratitude, on December 8th, 1972, when four Caribbean nations -Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago- simultaneously decided to establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba.
On the occasion of the First CARICOM-Cuba Summit held in Havana in 2002, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro said that "this decision, of unquestionable political courage, adopted by newly independent small countries in a hostile environment and under great pressure, was a fundamental step towards breaking the diplomatic and commercial blockade against Cuba in the region and a breach against the isolation they had subjected us through the OAS. Cuba will never forget the noble gesture of its Caribbean brothers. "
The historical ties that link Cuba and the Caribbean are based on the principles of solidarity, friendship, disinterest, gratitude and full support, propounded by the Leader of the Cuban Revolution.
In a message to the Heads of State and Government of the Member countries of the Caribbean Community Fidel said: "No circumstance will change the interest and will of Cuba to deepen the bonds of friendship and cooperation with the sister nations of the Caribbean. We will spare no effort to achieve regional integration and the unity of our peoples".
And for more than four decades, cooperative relationships have been developed in many areas such as health, education, human resources training, energy and others.
As a reliable proof of this, on this 44th anniversary we are signing a Tripartite Agreement CARICOM, Guyana and Cuba for the creation of a Centre to stimulate the development of children, adolescents and young people with special educational needs associated with disabilities, which will constitute the materialization of the joint effort to serve a sector of our peoples that requires all the attention.
This beautiful and humane project required the work of the CARICOM Secretariat with all its members, within the framework of one of the priorities of the entity, to agree on how to deal with disability in the region and, in this way, to fulfill the duty to give the necessary tools to the people who need it in order to make them feel useful in the personal, family, community and society ambits, contributing to a better future.
It is worth noting, the decision of Guyana to locate this regional project in its country, which shows its commitment not only to the local disabled sector but also to all the countries of the region, putting into practice the necessary integration and cooperation.
Cuba will take on the technical assistance of the project and its qualified personnel will provide the best of the experience accumulated by decades of work internally and in other countries of the world in this field. We want, in this way, to contribute to the right of all to receive the education and preparation necessary for life and to the principles of solidarity and internationalism that guide the daily actions of Cubans, notwithstanding the difficulties and policies to which we are subjected as the unjust blockade that has been imposed on us for decades and that the world and the Caribbean community have firmly denounced and called for its end.
We all assume with this project the commitment to systematically evaluate it to adapt it to the particularities of the Caribbean population, to make it more effective and at the same time enduring, since there will always be people who will require this extraordinary, sensitive and special work.
May serve this special day of commemoration of Cuba-CARICOM relations and the signing and start of this humane project to establish a Centre to stimulate the development of children, adolescents and young people with special educational needs associated with disabilities to reaffirm the commitment to continue strengthening relations, cooperation and integration among our Caribbean peoples; as a tribute to the Guyanese people that is celebrating this year the 50th Anniversary of their Independence and as an example of the materialization of the legacy of that leader of the peoples of this world Fidel, whose principles and actions in favor of our nations will be present in each of the true Cubans of his people, when we swear allegiance to his Concept of Revolution, and when from our souls and hearts, we committed to the world, to follow his work exclaiming together #IamFidel.
I thank you.