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St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is sending seven shipping container loads of flour to Cuba to help cushion the impact of US sanctions on the Caribbean nation.

The shipment comes two weeks after leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), at their summit in Buccament Bay on March 1, called for an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves announced the flour shipment this week, adding that he had asked his Barbados and Guyana counterparts to help also.

He said that Guyana might send rice as well as powdered milk to Havana.

“Now you may ask, ‘Well, why?” Gonsalves said. “We have flour, we have rice and powdered milk in St. Vincent Grenadines. What are the big problems?”.

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He continued:

“I want Vincentians to think about this: If a country like the United States — and this is a fact — carry out an economic trade and financial embargo against you, they ain’t buying anything from you, you can’t sell them anything; you can’t trade in any activity which involves US dollars even though nearly 100% of the United Nations every year condemns this embargo by the United States of America. It’s illegal in international law. It’s really, in effect, an act of war.

“Could you imagine if we couldn’t trade with America; if we couldn’t buy anything from them, or sell anything? No medical equipment, no medicines, no manufacturing equipment, no computer; we couldn’t trade in US dollars to do anything?”

He said that the Cuban people are determined that they would not be “browbeaten, that they will stand up for their sovereignty and their independence and they will make sacrifices. These are brothers and sisters who have helped us.”

The prime minister said it would cost EC$700,000 to send the flour to Cuba.

“For me to send one student to Barbados to the University of the West Indies to do medicine for five years is $600,000. In Cuba, of course, it wouldn’t cost $600,000.

“But what we’re sending here in a shipment of flour would be the cost of two of the students Cuba gives scholarships for medicines. And if we have to train one at UWI, we just have $100,000 short with the value of this gift which we are making.

“We have to do it, we have to help; solidarity works both ways,” he said, adding that the Cuban doctors who work in SVG do “fantastic solidarity work.

“They help save lives here. The engineers who come, they help us with our infrastructure.”

The prime minister preempted criticisms of the move, saying, “I know there are some people out there who will say, ‘Why don’t you take the $700,000 and feed some poor people in St. Vincent?

“… But you elect me to make the judgment and I have to look at the total overall pictures. … This is not a transactional thing to say you help me with students, therefore, I help you with that. No. Solidarity has a larger purpose. It comes from love and we are all in this Caribbean civilisation.”

He condemned the US sanctions against Cuba as “just plain wrong”, adding that he tells the US this.

Gonsalves, however, was not optimistic of any change in the situation anytime soon because of “presidential politics of South Florida, where you have a lot of voters in South Florida, particularly Cubans, exiles, emigres, immigrants.

“They don’t, most of them, though it’s changing, want to have any rapprochement with Cuba,” Gonsalves said.

14 replies on “St. Vincent gives 7 containers of flour to Cuba”

  1. As a Cuban I thank Prime Minister González for this help to my country, and I am proud of his words to the Cuban medical brigade, he was part of one of them now in Dominica support

  2. This is a most welcome act of solidarity by the Government of SVG which every Vincentian and every Cuban living and working in SVG should applaud. During our years studying in Cunan universities we never met any ill treatment by Cubans who welcomed us living and studying amongst them. For that we must be eternally grateful because Cuba did not have to do it.
    This Miami electoral politics which President Obama made moves to end. The US must follow the wishes of the majority of the worlds nation’s voting at the United Nations and adopt a Christian approach to their Cuban neighbors. Enough is enough. Thank you PM Gonzalves for this leadership.

  3. I wish SVG had the capacity to send 10 times as much of flour that we are sending now. The Cuban people has done so much to provide tertiary education to Vincentians. May God preserve their revolution!

    Vinci Vin

  4. C. ben-David says:

    The people of Haiti are starving but there is nothing for them from our Prime Minister, not even a few police officers to help take back the government from the gang lords.

    Meanwhile, most of the aid to Cuba will be commandeered by the ruling elite and allocated to their favourite supporters.

  5. C. ben-David says:

    The American embargo has always been a phoney excuse used to obscure the chronic mismanagement of the Cuban economy by its dictatorial masters.

    The country can’t export much to other countries or import what it needs from other countries only because it produces little produce other countries want, on the one hand, and no money to import what it needs for its people, on the other.

    As countless countries have shown, communism doesn’t work. Cuba will only prosper when its people rise up and get rid of its commie slave masters.

  6. Jackie Baisden says:

    Proud of our Prime Minister …..
    Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves for “Standing in Solidarity with Cuba” 🇨🇺 🇻🇨
    The stone that the builder refuse shall one day become the head cornerstone!🤔

  7. C.Ben David Look at Vietnam today a once considered pariah state. There is no economic blocade. This made the country prosper. Why the same cannot be applied to Cuba? It appears that Washington is only interested in regime change to futher their objectives.

  8. C.Ben-David do you really think that the embargo did nothing to the Cuban economy? There was a study don’t that shows the embargo has a negative impact on the cuban economy sin inception. The country cannot buy basic medical supplies. If it has no impact then remove the embargo.

  9. C. ben-David says:

    It is false to argue as Jomo Thomas and several posters have that America is the only country Cuba could buy raw materials and finished products from that it badly needs when America itself buys such materials and goods from other countries, including Canada and several Asian nations, something Cuba also does but not in great quantity because it can’t afford to do so because of a stagnant economy based on failed socialist principles.

    Jomo Thomas and a lot of posters hate America but the latter would all run there to live and work in a heartbeat if they had the chance, a phenomenon called hypocrisy.

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