Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (IWN file photos)

The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines enthusiastically welcomes today’s executive decision by United States President Barack Obama to take significant steps towards the normalisation of relations between the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba.

Related: SVG’s Parliament welcomes announcement of warmer US-Cuba ties

Those steps — which include easing of travel, banking and remittance transfer restrictions between America and Cuba; the removal of significant restrictions on American businesses and technology providers wishing to operate in Cuba; the re-establishment of embassies in Havana and Washington DC; and the removal of Cuba from the list of states that sponsor terrorism — are all applauded by the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Additionally, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines strongly supports the decision by Cuban and American authorities to release individuals characterised by either side as “political prisoners”. This mutual release of prisoners represents an important act of good faith and commitment to the process towards the normalisation of relations between two staunch friends and allies of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The courageous and historic executive action by President Obama represents the beginning of the end of an anachronistic policy of confrontation and isolation rooted in the Cold War. While President Obama cannot completely end the illegal and immoral American blockade of Cuba without the support of the American Congress, the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is hopeful that his bold action will serve as an inspiration to those with the power to completely eliminate all remaining vestiges of the blockade.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has long maintained friendly and mutually respectful ties with both Cuba and the United States. However, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his Government have been particularly strong critics of the blockade. Over the years, in various regional and international fora, the Prime Minister Gonsalves has lobbied strenuously for the normalisation of relations between Cuba and the United States. The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is heartened that its voice, in concert with the overwhelming weight of international opinion, has finally been heeded by United States authorities.

The fractured and fractious relations between Cuba and the United States has been an undeniable impediment to hemispheric relations, regional integration, and multilateral diplomacy in the Americas. The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines sees the rapprochement between Presidents Castro and Obama as a vital first step to deepening regional ties. Further, as the largest and most populous island nation in the Caribbean, Cuba has the potential to spur economic growth and development across the region.

The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines recognises that many sharp differences and divergent political perspectives remain between Cuba and the United States. However, we are confident that the maturity and courage exhibited by Presidents Obama and Castro epitomise the manner in which these differences can be aired and possibly resolved through normal diplomatic processes.

As the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines joyously embraces these exciting developments in the relationship between our two friends, we stand ready to continue to play our own part in the full normalisation and restoration of ties between these neighbouring nations.

Dated the 17th day of December, 2014

Dr. The Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves

Prime Minister

11 replies on “Gov’t of SVG’s statement on normalisation of US-Cuba relations”

  1. The establishment of bilateral relationship between the US and Cuba is long overdue. This will significantly enhance the quality of life of the Cuban. Congratulations to all who played a role in making this a reality.

    1. Camilo, a rather simple/selfish way of looking at Travel&Tourism – SVG is offering something totally different to Cuba, but so you know, tourists have little loyalty.

  2. Yet another cross to be borne by our very weak tourist industry. Yet another reason why the Argyle International Airport should have been aborted at conception.

    Why? Because Cuba already has much cheaper holiday prices than any other Caribbean country. Its tourist facilities, while not 5-star, are very good by international standards. Flying to Cuba from mainland North America also is very cheap. And there is tremendous potential for hotel and allied holiday expansion.

    1. Clynton Morris says:

      To C ben-David, not sure you know about Cuba or Tourism, but none of what you commented is off the mark. First, Cuba new potential market from the USA would hardly impact on tourism in SVG, if so, it would be marginal; the impact would be more so on the northern Caribbean states since the type of tourists would be unlike those who might want to visit St. Vincent (and I can speak of Cuba’s infrastructure since I’ve been there no less than 6 times and I’m well qualified to speak or write on Travel & Tourism.

      The second reason which I’ve alluded to above, is that St.Vincent tourism is a totally different product and (animal) to that of Cuba or even Jamaica as a matter of fact.

      Then how this new détente is going to impact on the economy & tourism is St.Vincent C.ben-David? Let’s avoid this fantasy speculation.

      1. To: Mr C ben-David, it worries me that the effort to be rational and objective in what one writes will bring ones patriotism into question.

        I’m a bona-fide Vincentian, but also believe in Regionalism which makes people stand out from the bitter and narrow Nationalism that yourself and one “PB” espouse.

  3. I am pleased that they have lifted the embargo on Cuba for the sake of the Cuban people. I would have been happier if that bunch of Marxist scum bags which includes the Castro brothers were dead and buried.

    They personally carried out the summary execution of a lot of Cubans including army officers and police officers, they pulled the trigger that sent hot lead crashing through men’s brains.

    They have lived a life of luxury which normal Cubans could never imagine, dictators and scum bags, worshipped by like minded Caribbean scum bag leaders.

    Of course Cuba will affect our economy, there are only so many tourists and it will be a novelty to be able to travel to Cuba where you were previously banned from visiting. But we do not own the world, we do not own the Caribbean economy, they perhaps deserve some life style that equals or betters ours. They have suffered shortages and ration book food shopping for years, a typical Marxist system.

    If I was the US president would have tried to tie some things like human rights and a few other things to the deal.

    Well lets just hope that the Castro’s depart this world soon so as they cannot benefit from this personally.

    1. Peter Binose if your government was a tyrant, you will not be able to speak, let alone put out trash. It’s a free world isn’t it? Keep your personal thoughts at home. This is a public domain and it should be that way. PEACE, my brother.

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