PM Skerrit calls for removal of blockade against Cuba

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is calling on the United States (US) government to remove the unjust blockade against Cuba.

He was speaking during a ceremony held at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Over 60 Cuban construction brigades were recognized at that ceremony.

They have been on island for the past 14 months to assist in the country’s recovery efforts post Hurricane Maria.

The United States currently imposes a commercial, economic, and financial embargo against Cuba. The United States first imposed an embargo on the sale of arms to Cuba on March 14, 1958, during the Fulgencio Batista regime.

“I will always stand in defense of the sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba,” Skerrit said. “Cuba has a right to self-determination and we will continue to call on the United States government to remove this unjust blockade against the Cuban people and the great people of the Cuban Revolution.”

He continued, “I will do so as a matter of principle and as it is said we can always negotiate words, but we must never negotiate principle.”

Skerrit said Dominica’s commitment to Cuba and its people, its independence and its sovereignty is unquestionable.

“This is why we have always opposed sanctions on countries, because sanctions only bring hardship to the ordinary men and women of countries,” he stated. “But not withstanding the sanctions on the Cuban people, see what they have done to humanity, see the contributions they have made to the world.”

Furthermore, he said the Cubans who have been assisting Dominica for the past 14 months have been exceptional ambassadors of the Cuban Revolution and the Cuban government.

“You have touched the lives of many ordinary citizens in Dominica, who, without you, would have had a difficulty in getting a roof back over their heads in quick time,” Skerrit said.

Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Chandler Hyacinth said the Cubans have made their mark.

“You have made your mark, 185 homes rebuilt,” she said.”The 14 rooms at the Dominica State College (DSC) that they re-covered and the primary schools that they reconstructed, in particular the Colihaut Primary School and now the Salisbury Primary School and you also did some work at the Dublanc Pre-School.”

She thanked the Cuban team immensely for their contribution to the country’s resilience building efforts.

“In particular, we admire and we give praises to you for the quality of work that you have delivered, the dedication and commitment that you have shown towards the efforts. We have learnt from your commitment and dedication to task,” Hyacinth stated.

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Cuba Congratulates Bolivia on 194th Anniversary of Independence

Cuba´s government congratulated on Tuesday the Bolivian people on the 194th anniversary of Independence, and seized the opportunity to express admiration for the success of the process of change led by Bolivia´s President Evo Morales.

'A greeting to the government and people of Bolivia on the 194th anniversary of their Independence. We admire their defense of the democratic-cultural revolution led by our brother the President and his fight for sustainable development and social justice,' tweeted Cuban FM Bruno Rodriguez.

President Evo Morales today called for the people to join in and defend freedom, dignity and sovereignty reached in this country as part of the process started in 2006, benefitting all nationals.

Independence Day is celebrated on August 6, to commemorate the Declaration of the act that ended Spanish domination in 1825, and proclaimed the Republic of Bolivia, granting the country its autonomy.

The 13 years of the Morales government have stood out for their achievements, such as improving Bolivians´ quality of life, political and social stability, and economic successes acknowledged by international organizations.

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Peace admits no ambiguities – Rodriguez

PEACE admits no ambiguities, says Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez.

During the sixth meeting of ministers of foreign affairs of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) – Cuba in George, Guyana on Friday, Rodriguez said the meeting took place at a moment when peace in our region was being jeopardised.

He said the region had the duty to reaffirm its commitment with Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, as was stated in the Proclamation approved by the Heads of State and Government at the Second Summit of the CELAC held in Havana in 2014.

Rodriguez said only in a climate of mutual respect and confidence would the region prosper.

“Only integration shall lead us down to that path.

Peace admits no ambiguities. It cannot be said that all options are on the table, when one of them, the one that is most needed, has been rejected; and that is dialogue,” he said, in reference US President Donald Trump’s threat against Venezuela.

“We welcome CARICOM’s decision, in view of the threat of use of force and foreign interference, to ratify its stand and defend the validity of the principles and purposes of the UN Charter and International Law.”

Rodriguez noted that meeting had gathered at a moment when attempts were made to reestablish the implementation of the Monroe Doctrine, “which is opposite to the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.”

“I would like to reiterate to you our gratitude for your firmness in denouncing the US government’s authorisation to activate Title III of the Helms-Burton Act so that lawsuits can be filed at the courts of that country against Cuban or foreign entities that legally engage in commercial business or investments in properties that were once nationalized in Cuba in full adherence to national and international laws, as was recognized by the US Supreme Court ruling on the Sabbatino case,” Rodriguez said.

He said the Helms-Burton Act was arbitrary and was also an outrage and an insult against the sovereignty of Cuba and of third States.

“There is an attempt to suffocate the Cuban economy and place our people on their knees through scarcities and hardships, but I can assure you that such an attempt will fail,” Rodriguez said.

“We recognise your resolute and irrevocable decision to join us in rejecting the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against our country and the fair claim to put an end to it.”

He said the brotherhood and friendship between Cuba and the CARICOM were indestructible.

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Lat Am, Caribbean Economic Challenges on Debate in Cuba

Havana, Aug 5 (Prensa Latina) The main challenges being faced by Latin American and Caribbean economies will be the focus of the debates at an event that will bring together professionals of economic and social sciences, academic, decision makers and civil society in this capital.

The persistence of the global crisis and the continuity of its effects in the region will be analyzed at the event 'The Economy of Latin America and the Caribbean Facing the New International Environment. Main Challenges', scheduled from September 11 to 13 at Havana's Conference Center.

The National Association of Economists and Accountant of Cuba (ANEC) and the Latin America and Caribbean Economic Association are organizing the event.

The real possibility that the region promotes a gradual change in the productive and commercial structure, integration, the new economic and commercial policy of the United States and its possible effects will also be analyzed.

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, cooperatives and their role in the current situation are also among the issues to be debated.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAC) recently updated its projections for the growth of productive activity and services for the countries of the region in 2018 and kept its estimate of average expansion at 2.2 percent, after growing 1.2 percent in 2017.

Among the factors supporting statistics in 2017 are the moderate growth of the world economy, certain dynamism of international trade and investment, even though they do not exceed the trend prior to the 2008 economic crisis, says the call to the event, posted on the ANEC's website.

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CELAC and EU call for end of U.S. blockade of Cuba

The foreign ministers of the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) called Tuesday for the end of the blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States, since "it has caused undue humanitarian consequences for the Cuban people." 

"We reiterate our rejection of the application of those coercive measures of a unilateral nature with extraterritorial effect," the ministers said in the statement signed after a meeting in Brussels of the EU and CELAC foreign officials. 

The ministers also reaffirmed their rejection of the application of the extraterritorial provisions of the Helms-Burton Act, approved by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, which states that any non-U.S. company operating in Cuba may be subject to legal reprisals. 

In this regard, representatives of the EU and CELAC stressed that the United Nations General Assembly had adopted a resolution condemning this blockade, which was only opposed by the United States and Israel. 

"These measures are damaging the legitimate development of commercial ties between Cuba, the European Union and other countries," concluded the EU and CELAC foreign ministers. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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Cuba Deems As Vital to Advance in CELAC-EU Cooperation

Cuban Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Abelardo Moreno today deemed as vital to advance in cooperation between the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union (EU) despite the differences between the two regions.

When speaking at the second CELAC-EU ministerial meeting, the Vice Minister assured that it is possible to identify points of convergence such as the proliferation of protectionist measures, the extraterritorial application of national legislations and the defense of multilateralism.

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'We work on the issues of women, children, climate change and drugs, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and even, the negotiation of a World Agreement for a safe, regular and orderly migration,' he urged. Moreno stressed CELAC is willing to strengthen cooperation with the EU 'under the guidance of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, and with due respect for our diversity.'

He likewise indicated, 'policies that proliferate today in violation of international law constitute an affront to humanity,' and also recalled that waves of refugees and migrants face situations of high vulnerability.

On Monday, the meeting began in Brussels, which will last two days with the participation of senior representatives of the 33 member countries of CELAC and 28 of the EU.

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Venezuelan Foreign Minister Condemns Unilateral Sanctions by EU

Jorge Arreaza said that the sanctions by the European Union are aimed at attacking the Bolivarian Revolution and its democratic institutions.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on Monday condemned the unilateral sanctions of the European Union (EU) and called on the bloc to rectify its interventionist position.

"It is regrettable that the European Union is put to the tail's end of US imperialism, it is regrettable that the European Union has issued a series of restrictive measures against Venezuelan citizens, officials, but also presidents of public powers, that is, against Venezuela and its democratic institutionality democratic," Arreaza said during the II Forum of Cooperation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) and China.

RELATED:  Venezuela Rejects 'Interventionist' Sanctions Imposed by EU

Arreaza asserted that the EU violates international law by subordinating its foreign policy "to the imperialist, supremacist and racist US policy"

"Venezuela calls on the EU to reflect and rectify because our independence is sacred, our institutions legitimate," he said.

Arreaza stressed that the EU's arguments to impose sanctions are not to promote dialogue with the opposition, on the contrary "it is about attacking the Bolivarian Revolution, and attacking Venezuelan democratic institutions."

He recalled that the undersecretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States, Thomas Shannon, had previously reported that "they instructed the EU with a package of sanctions against Venezuela."

The Venezuelan diplomat said that his country will continue in the process of dialogue with the opposition, as well as progress in all areas of society.

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ALBA Countries Agree to Strengthen Regional Integration

Caracas, March 6 (Prensa Latina) ALBA-TCP member countries agreed to work with the purpose of strengthening the unity and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean and establishing conditions to guarantee the economic growth of this Latin American bloc.

This was proclaimed by Caracas Declaration at the conclusion of the 14th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America - Peoples' Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP), which was held on Sunday at the Miraflores Palace, headquarters of the Government of Venezuela.

The Alliance is composed of eight countries, with two special guests and three observers. The full members are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela.

Special guests include Suriname and Saint Lucia, while observers include Haiti, Iran, and Syria.

The unity and regional integration of Latin America and the Caribbean is an urgent need in this complex environment. ALBA-TCP, along with blocs such as MERCOSUR, UNASUR, CARICOM, and others that regained their leading role in the last decade, should continue to contribute to regional integration.

'The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is our most precious work. It is the mechanism to forge unity in diversity through political agreement. The Community has had to face the resistance of the defenders of failed Pan-Americanism. We must preserve it,' the statement stresses.

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