Ease Cuba, CARICOM pleads

Cuba and US

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Friday July 8, 2016 – CARICOM leaders say they’re happy to see the United States trying to normalize relations with Cuba. What they aren’t pleased about is that the trade and economic embargo imposed on the Caribbean nation five decades ago is still largely in place.

And when they got together in Guyana for their 37th Regular Meeting this week, they called for the embargo to be lifted.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Guyana’s President David Granger also said that in the new environment in Cuba, there is a need for the region to seize trade, business and investment opportunities, including those in tourism.

In that regard, they agreed that every effort will be made to conclude negotiations for a Second Protocol to the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement with Cuba, to allow for it to be signed before the end of 2016.

Granger also reported on the “excellent discussion” CARICOM Heads of Government had with President of Chile Michele Bachelet, as the Community renewed its long-standing political and cooperation relations with that country.

“Chile has been a long supportive country of the Community through its institution and capacity-building projects in a wide diversity of areas. We agreed to heighten political engagement and that technical co-operation should be expanded to include climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals and trade co-operation,” he said.

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