Georgetown, Guyana – (January 31, 2018) Guyana and Cuba are well-placed to further strengthen economic cooperation. The signing of an agreement for the export of Guyana’s rice to Cuba and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba has set the stage for increased trade and collaboration between the two States. President David Granger said that this level of cooperation is of vital importance to advancing Guyana’s green agenda and overall economic development, declaring that this country will continue to stand in solidarity with Cuba.
Speaking at the Accreditation of Mr. Narciso Reinaldo Armador Soeorro as the new Ambassador of Cuba to Guyana, the Head of State said that the cultural agreement, signed between Guyana’s Ministry of Education and Cuba’s Ministry of Culture will also help to advance cooperation in the arts in sport. Moreover, he noted that Guyana welcomes the support of the Cuban Government for the establishment of a Regional Training Centre, which will cater to the needs of children, adolescents and young people with special educational needs associated with disabilities.
“Guyana and Cuba share a close, cordial relationship characterised by friendship, frequent [and] fruitful exchanges, political and economic solidarity and tangible programmes of cooperation. Guyana’s national development, particularly in the fields of education, culture and health, has benefitted immeasurably from Cuba’s cooperation and contribution over the decades,” the President said.
The local health sector, in particular, has been boosted by the dividends of Guyana-Cuba relations. The President pointed out that Cuba continues to provide a large number of scholarships in the fields of agriculture, engineering and medicine to Guyanese students and young professionals. Additionally, Cuban professionals, who work in the local healthcare system, continue to provide medical care and attention to Guyanese. “Guyana looks forward to deepening and expanding cooperation with the Republic of Cuba during your tenure as Ambassador,” the Head of State told the new Ambassador.
The President also informed Ambassador Soeorro that Guyana looks forward to the full implementation of the Second Protocol to Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between the Republic of Cuba and the Caribbean Community which was signed in Georgetown late last year.
In 1972, Guyana led efforts by Caribbean states to break the diplomatic isolation of Cuba in this hemisphere; establishing diplomatic relations with that country. President Granger said that Guyana still holds firmly to that position, which it took 45 years ago. “Guyana’s stands in solidarity with the Government and people of Cuba in its resistance to economic aggression. We stand in support of the right of Cuba to determine its own destiny free from provocation and intimidation,” he said.
Ambassador Soeorro replaces Mr. Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante, whose tour of duty ended in December last year. The new Ambassador said that Cuban nation will always remember with gratitude, the four Caribbean nations, including Guyana, who together, took the first fundamental step at ending the diplomatic and commercial siege against his country. “The Cuban Government and the people are deeply grateful to our Guyanese brothers and sisters for the permanent support for the resolution of the blockade against Cuba,” he said.
Prior to the accreditation ceremony, which was held at State House, the new Ambassador met with Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, who is currently performing the functions of Minister of Foreign Affairs.