JIS News

Cuba is willing to strengthen relations between Cuban and Jamaican local governments. This was stated by Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica Gisela Garcia at the St. Thomas Parish Council office in a meeting yesterday (June 22).
Ambassador Garcia, accompanied by her husband Jorge Crespo, was making a courtesy call on the Mayor of Morant Bay, Joan Spencer. A small delegation, including Secretary/Manager of the Parish Council, Clinton Gordon, Planning Director, Marsha Henry-Martin and Councillors Maud Turgott, Beresford Steele and Harold Brown attended the meeting.
The decision to forge closer ties between the Parish Councils was made earlier this year when a twinning agreement was signed between the Portland Parish Council and a municipality in Cuba.
“There was already a twinning agreement with one of our biggest municipalities and now this is a follow up to get concrete areas of collaboration and a better knowledge of each other,” she said.
Ambassador Garcia offered to assist in the areas of education and sport. Noting that much emphasis was placed on education in her country, the Ambassador promised to make available an existing Cuban literacy programme, “Yes, I can” to the educational authorities in Jamaica. She said the programme was a good method for improving literacy and had been used in her country as well as in Haiti, Venezuela and some African countries.
“It has been accepted by UNESCO. It’s very easy, using a TV and video and some cards. It has great results in other countries and I think it is a very inexpensive way to deal with literacy,” she said.On the matter of Cuban teachers being recruited to teach the Spanish language in schools in Jamaica, Ambassador Garcia said her country had always supported this cause, whenever the need arose.
Following the meeting, the Ambassador and the Parish Council’s delegation toured historical sites in Morant Bay, including Paul Bogle’s burial site and statue. Later, they visited the Seaforth and Morant Bay High Schools where they met with two Cuban teachers and visited the schools’ vocational training facilities.