CUBA AND SAINT LUCIA RE­MEM­BER REV­O­LU­TION­AR­IES

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

It was a dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion this week in recog­ni­tion of the 164th an­niver­sary of the birth of Cuba’s na­tional hero José Martí, and the 58th an­niver­sary of the tri­umph of the Cuban Revo­lu­tion. Jan­uary 28th marked the birth date of the Cuban leg­end con­sid­ered a prophet by many, in­tel­lec­tual, and a hero, while Jan­uary 1, 1959 was the end of the armed re­volt led by Fidel Cas­tro that re­sulted in the re­moval from office of Cuban Dic­ta­tor Ful­gen­cio Batista.

“His work lives on, just as the revo­lu­tion con­tin­ues,” said Mas­ter of Cer­e­monies Mar­lene Alexan­der re­fer­ring to José Martí, then mov­ing on to Fidel Cas­tro and the Cuban peo­ple, whom “we in the Caribbean will al­ways be truly grate­ful for.”

Alexan­der’s re­marks made way for that of the Cuban Am­bas­sador to Saint Lucia, Jorge Fran­cisco Soberon Luis, who paid trib­ute to Cuba’s re­mem­bered rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies. Speak­ing of José Martí, the am­bas­sador said: “He taught us to turn loss to vic­tory and have an in­fi­nite con­fi­dence in our­selves.”

As part of the pro­ceed­ings a video was shown de­pict­ing the life of Cuban leader Fidel Cas­tro, who passed away on Novem­ber 25 last year. The more emo­tional in the au­di­ence were brought to tears as they watched the video.

Ac­knowl­edg­ing that there were many chal­lenges, and much work still to be done, the Cuban am­bas­sador re­vealed that his coun­try con­tin­ued to work to­ward a nor­mal­iza­tion of re­la­tions with the United States. He be­lieves Cuba and the United States could co­op­er­ate and co­ex­ist. He also wished Cuba’s re­la­tions with Saint Lucia will con­tinue to grow. He gave the as­sur­ance that “Saint Lucia can con­tinue to count on the full sup­port and friend­ship of Cuba.”

Prime Min­is­ter Allen Chas­tanet then re­flected on the state of in­ter­na­tional af­fairs today. “What they were fight­ing for still ex­ists now,” he said. “The way we can best pay trib­ute is to con­tinue the revo­lu­tion.”

De­spite fifty-five years of fight­ing a U.S. em­bargo, the prime min­is­ter ob­served, Cuba con­tin­ued to as­sist Saint Lucia and other de­prived coun­tries around the world. Chas­tanet also took time to ex­press dis­ap­proval of re­cent re­marks by Pres­i­dent Trump with re­gard to Mex­ico.

“I am not happy about that,” he said, “and I know the world is not happy about the com­ments by the new U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion. I, for one, have tremen­dous ad­mi­ra­tion for what Mex­ico has achieved while keep­ing its own iden­tify. Like Cuba, Mex­ico reached out to the peo­ple of Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean.”

Chas­tanet as­sured all present, “Saint Lucia stands al­ways ready to sup­port Cuba.”

---KW

L to R: Prime Min­is­ter Allen Chas­tanet, Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Fi­nance Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, Cuban Am­bas­sador Jorge Fran­cisco Soberon Luis, and Min­is­ter for Eq­uity, So­cial Jus­tice and Em­pow­er­ment Le­nard Montoute.

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