Antigua and Barbuda and Cuba have expressed a desire to strengthen the existing relations between the two Caribbean States.
The commitment to strengthen and deepen ties came during a meeting on Tuesday between Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dr. Clarence Henry and the resident Cuban Ambassador Gustavo Veliz Olivares at the National Audit Office (NAO).
Dr. Henry said he is looking forward to among other things, the full operationalization of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Havana, Cuba, last year when Trade and Industry Minister, E.P Chet Greene and his Cuban counterpart during a visit by an Antigua and Barbuda trade mission to that country.
The ambassador recalled that during Minister Greene’s visit, he held discussions with the Cuba Chamber of Commerce which expressed an interest in pursuing bilateral trade and other matters with Antigua and Barbuda.
According to Dr. Henry the Lee wind Paint Board of Directors through its Chairman may likely explore the Cuban market aggressively in keeping with the policy directives laid down by both Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Minister Greene.
He noted that the government’s thrust to attract more investments, promote private sector growth and to facilitate expansion of local businesses will no doubt redound to the benefit of both Cuba and Antigua and Barbuda.
One other area he identified for possible cooperation is multi-destination tourism marketing between Cuba and Antigua and Barbuda.
Responding the Ambassador Henry, the resident Cuban Ambassador Olivares also expressed a desire to see further strengthening of the existing ties between Havana and St John’s noting that he is open to exploring other areas of cooperation.
He said he looks forward to a visit from a delegation from Lee Wind Paints to further assess the Cuban market and to establish concrete relations there.
He noted that one of the commitments that came out of the visit by Minister Greene is for a Cuban sculptor to assist Antigua and Barbuda to work on a memorial to honour the people who perished in slavery.
According to the ambassador, there are many Cuban sculptors with the desired experience many of whom speak English. The task he said is to select one for the assignment. The memorial will be mounted within the National Park at English Harbour.