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Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller arrived in Cuba at about 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 26 for a four-day official visit.
  • The Prime Minister is slated to participate in talks on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues with Cuban President, Raul Castro.
  • The leaders are also slated to discuss the upcoming fifth CARICOM/Cuba Summit, which will take place later this year.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller landed at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba at about 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 26 for a four-day official visit.

The Prime Minister is slated to participate in talks on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues with Cuban President, Raul Castro.

The leaders are also slated to discuss the upcoming fifth CARICOM/Cuba Summit, which will take place later this year.

Mrs. Simpson Miller will also head Jamaica’s delegation to the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), being held at the PABExpo Hall in Havana from January 28 to 29.

In a short address to journalists, Mrs. Simpson Miller said she was pleased to be in the Republic of Cuba, representing her country. She further noted that she looked forward to the conference and the fruitful discussions with President Castro.

On hand to welcome the Prime Minister were Cuban Chief Protocol, Miguel A. Moreno Carpio; Cuban Minister of Finance and Prices, Excellent Senorita Lina Olinda Pedrazo Rodriguez; Jamaican Ambassador to Cuba, His Excellency A’Dale Robinson; and Protocol Liaison Officer to Jamaica/CELAC National Coordinator for Cuba, Yenielys Regueiferos.

Mrs. Simpson Miller is accompanied on the trip by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson; Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Onika Miller; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Paul Robotham; Under Secretary, Bilateral and Regional Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and CELAC National Coordinator for Jamaica, Ambassador Joy Wheeler; Director of Operations, Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (PMSU), Dr. Deborah Hickling; Executive Assistant, Liaison, Jamaica-Cuba Friendship Association, Pamela Redwood; and members of her security detail.

The CELAC Summit is being held under the theme: ‘The struggle against hunger, poverty and the inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean’, and the forum is expected to adopt the Declaration of Havana.

The Summit is the largest political event to be hosted by Cuba in decades, attracting Heads of State and Foreign Ministers from all 33 member nations. The leaders will explore issues of intra-regional trade, sustainable development, science and technology, climate change, natural disasters, transportation, and social development, among other issues.

Mrs. Simpson Miller will address the opening session of the forum on Tuesday, January 28.

She is also scheduled to attend the opening ceremony for the first phase of a newly built container terminal and logistics hub in the Mariel Special Zone, as well as participate in the ‘Lights of the Torch’ walk with President Castro and students of the University of Havana, in honour of Cuban National Hero, Jose Marti.

The Prime Minister’s visit will serve to further strengthen and reaffirm Jamaica’s longstanding relationship with Cuba.