President Granger to visit Cuba  

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President David Granger has accepted an invitation to visit Cuba following a meeting with the country’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Sierra Diaz at State House today.

A date for the visit is yet to be determined, the Ministry of the Presidency said in a statement Wednesday.

Diaz is currently on an official visit to Guyana where he has recommitted to enhancing relations between Guyana and Cuba through increased collaboration and cooperation in areas such as health, environmental conservation, disaster management and tourism, the Ministry said.

Cuba is a Caribbean island nation under communist rule. Its capital, Havana is lined with pastel houses, 1950s-era cars and Spanish-colonial architecture.

At the meeting, the Guyanese Head of State commented on the areas of mutual interest between the two countries.

Cuba’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Sierra Diaz

He is quoted as having said: “There is a large Cuban brigade here in Guyana and there is substantial interaction through CELAC [Community of Latin American and Caribbean States] and other regional bodies, so we regard this not only as a continuation but a reaffirmation of our historic friendship. We will continue to collaborate. We have always supported Cuba and the removal of the blockade. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1972, we have witnessed the maturity of our relationship.”

Improving the health cooperation between the two countries are a topic up for discussion at the meeting.

The Ministry reports that Cuba’s Deputy Foreign Minister said: “We are happy to be present in Guyana in medical cooperation. We are in this position of making this arrangement more efficient in the interests of both of our nations and for this reason, both of the Governments are in contact to improve this arrangement. We are also in the position of strengthening the collaboration in whatever area you may have needs. I believe it is very important to remain united and work together.”

Following the meeting, the Minister paid homage to the victims of the Cubana Air Disaster with the laying of a wreath at the Monument to the Victims of Terrorism at the University of Guyana campus. He also paid a visit to the Centre for the Stimulation of Children, Adolescents and Youth with Special Educational Needs Associated with Disabilities at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE).

In 1972, Guyana led efforts by Caribbean states to break the diplomatic isolation of Cuba in this hemisphere; establishing diplomatic relations with that country.

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