Thank You, Fidel: CARICOM Says Re­gion Owes For­mer Cuban Leader A Huge Debt

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

CARICOM Chair­man and Prime Min­is­ter of Do­minica Roo­sevelt Sk­er­rit say the re­gion will for­ever be grate­ful to for­mer Cuban rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader Fidel Cas­tro.

In his trib­ute to the for­mer pres­i­dent Cas­tro who died last Fri­day at the age of 90, Sk­er­rit said Cuba of­fered its ex­per­tise to build up in­de­pen­dent coun­tries across Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean.

“This was especially ev­i­dent in the train­ing of med­i­cal doc­tors and other health care work­ers and the grant­ing of schol­ar­ships in other dis­ci­plines. CARICOM will be for­ever grate­ful to Fidel and to you, the Cuban peo­ple, for the great sac­ri­fices you have made against great ad­ver­sity, in an­nu­ally sus­tain­ing the train­ing of our pro­fes­sion­als for decades on both a bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral ba­sis,” he said on Tues­day at José Martí Rev­o­lu­tion Square in Ha­vana, where thou­sands had gath­ered.

Speak­ing of Cas­tro’s im­pact on CARICOM economies, Sk­er­rit said it was dif­fi­cult to iden­tify a sec­tor that was not changed for the bet­ter.

“I can say, with­out fear of be­ing con­tra­dicted, that our health ser­vices would be the poorer but for the gen­er­ous hand of Fidel at crit­i­cal times in our de­vel­op­ment. We have rec­og­nized that con­tri­bu­tion by award­ing him our high­est hon­our, the Or­der of the Caribbean Com­mu­nity, in 2008, the only non-Caricom cit­i­zen to whom it has been ac­corded,” he added.

The CARICOM chair­man said Cas­tro’s zeal to un­tan­gle the grip of coloni­sa­tion and op­pres­sion went be­yond the shores of his beloved Cuba.

He high­lighted the Cuban rev­o­lu­tion­ary’s in­ter­ven­tions in Mozam­bique and the An­golan War that changed the course of his­tory in those two for­mer Por­tuguese colonies and played a defin­ing role in the strug­gle to free South Africa and the con­ti­nent from the scourge of apartheid.

Cas­tro’s ashes will be in­terred in the eastern city of San­ti­ago – where the Cuban rev­o­lu­tion be­gan – on Sun­day, end­ing a nine-day mourn­ing pe­riod for the man who ruled the coun­try for nearly 50 years.

CARICOM Chair­man and Do­minica Prime Min­is­ter Dr. Roo­sevelt Sk­er­rit paid trib­ute to the late Fidel Cas­tro at José Martí Rev­o­lu­tion Square in Ha­vana.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.