by Elson Concepción Pérez
Among the most important dates that the Caribbean celebrates is December 8. Just 51 years ago, four independent states of the region: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago sovereignly decided to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba.
This was a break with the diplomatic isolation imposed on our country by the U.S. Government, with the complicity of the OAS (Organization of American States).
The Caribbean Community (Caricom), a sub-regional organization with which Cuba maintains the closest and most fruitful relations, has provided permanent support in all international forums and maintains its firm opposition to the economic blockade imposed by the U.S. administration against the island.
The presence of Cuban collaborators in health and other areas of social interest has been and continues to be a proof of true South-South collaboration.
Cuba has been an important support for the development efforts of the insular Caribbean for four decades now, and this is recognized by the leaders and the people. The permanence, in those countries, of Cuban medical brigades that have taken health to the most unsuspected places in the area;
The immediate response of our nation to some climatic inclemency that has affected those nations, and the training of human resources—mainly in the health area—in Cuban schools, plus the significant contributions of the well-known Miracle Mission, which cured the eyesight of tens of thousands of citizens, are some examples that today have become a necessary reference when talking about solidarity.
Every December 8, therefore, we celebrate a date that has set a course of solidarity, unity and mutual respect that must be preserved.
At the Second Cuba-Caricom Summit, held in Barbados in 2005, Fidel (Castro) warned: “We must respond to neoliberal and selfish globalization, to the anti-democratic international political and economic order, with unity and the globalization of solidarity, and the promotion of dialogue, integration and genuine cooperation.”
At the same summit, the governments of the Caribbean Community conferred on the Commander-in-Chief the Honorary Order of that organization, in recognition of his impeccable human conduct and his unconditional support in favor of the progress and welfare of the area.