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Cuba and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)announced in Havana on Saturday a joint “strategic work plan” for raising the region’s global profile and strengthen the bloc’s development in various fields.

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Speaking at the inauguration of the 5th CARICOM-Cuba Ministerial Meeting in Havana, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said that defending the unity of the Caribbean was the only way to protect the region’s sovereignty and independence.

Rodriguez said the region is facing new dangers from extreme trade protectionism, inefficient implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and criminalization and deportation of the bloc’s nationals, whose human rights are frequently violated.

The minister also said that religious and racial persecution were on the rise and that “building walls” would not solve the “problem of poverty, eliminate the effects of climate disasters or put an end to the unfair world order.”

Maxine McClean, Foreign Minister of Barbados, which holds the rotating chairmanship of CARICOM, acknowledged the friendship between the regional organization and Cuba.

She stressed the importance of the meeting in Cuba to boosting regional collaboration, especially on sustainable development, integration, and the fight against weapons and drug smuggling.

During the ministerial meeting, Cuba also signed accords with other Caribbean countries in the areas of sports, education and culture.

Established in 1973, CARICOM currently has 15 members and its main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to coordinate foreign policy and to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared.

The next CARICOM-Cuba summit is scheduled for December 2017 in Antigua and Barbuda. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/



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