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Third Cuba-CARICOM Summit set for Dec. 8

GREATER GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Cuba will gather in the city of Santiago de Cuba for their third Summit on December 8, 2008. An agenda which will include discussions on the financial, energy and food crises and on climate change and their impact on Caribbean countries as well as the sharing of perspectives on cooperation between Cuba and CARICOM countries awaits the leaders and their respective delegations at a Summit which will conclude with the issuing of the Declaration of Santiago de Cuba.

CARICOM countries have long enjoyed a unique relationship with Cuba based on solidarity and fraternity. In 1972 diplomatic relations were established between the then independent CARICOM States – Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago – and Cuba. The Caribbean Community has benefited from its cooperation programmes with Cuba through technical assistance, training and the sharing of knowledge and expertise in areas such as education, medicine, energy conservation and disaster management. The people of the Caribbean Community have also enjoyed the professional services provided by Cuban doctors, nurses, medical technicians and eye specialists. Such meaningful cooperation has been a hallmark of the relationship to date.

A number of CARICOM Member States and Cuba recently endured the ravages of the passage of four hurricanes with Cuba and Haiti most severely affected. CARICOM Governments and their people responded generously by providing relief in various forms.

This Third Summit will mark the first official meeting between the leaders of the Caribbean Community and President Raul Castro who assumed leadership of his country when President Fidel Castro retired in February this year.

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