“Very tight domestic agenda” keeps Cuban leader from PetroCaribe 6

BASSETERRE, ST. Kitts – A “very tight domestic agenda” is keeping Cuban President His Excellency Raul Castro from attending Friday’s 6th PetroCaribe Summit.

Cuban Vice President of the Council of State, His Excellency Esteban Lazo Hernandez officially informed St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas during a courtesy call Thursday morning that urgent domestic matters will keep President Castro from attending the Summit.

“The President conveys his personal best wishes and regrets that he is unable to come. He has a very tight domestic agenda which prevented him from coming. I know that he cannot be replaced, but he has sent me in my capacity as the Vice President of the Council of State,” said Hernandez, who was accompanied on the courtesy call by the Vice President of the Council of Ministers, His Excellency Ricardo Cabrias Ruiz; Cuba’s Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, Her Excellency Ana Maria Gonzalez and Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Rogelio Sierra Diaz.

Cuban Vice President, His Excellency Esteban Lazo Hernandez (left) and St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Denzil L. Douglas greet each other when the Cuban official paid a courtesy call Thursday afternoon.
(Photo by Erasmus Williams)

Vice President Hernandez said he arrived in St. Kitts on Wednesday. “Last night we went out on the town and took in a tour of the city. We are very glad to be here. We are very glad that at last the PetroCaribe Summit is being held here,” said the Cuban Vice President.

Prime Minister Douglas and the Cuban official discussed domestic, regional and international issues.

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