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  • Jamaica and the Republic of Cuba have enjoyed “special bonds of friendship,” since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1972, says President of the Senate, Hon. Tom Tavares-Finson.
  • Speaking at a reception on Friday (January 31), at the residence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, in Kingston, to celebrate the 61st anniversary of Cuba’s National Day, Senator Tavares-Finson said that the relationship has been built on mutual respect and extensive bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
  • “Both countries have consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the development of sustainable technical functional cooperation and programmes, which have allowed us to forge and maintain a dynamic partnership,” he added.

Jamaica and the Republic of Cuba have enjoyed “special bonds of friendship,” since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1972, says President of the Senate, Hon. Tom Tavares-Finson.

Speaking at a reception on Friday (January 31), at the residence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, in Kingston, to celebrate the 61st anniversary of Cuba’s National Day, Senator Tavares-Finson said that the relationship has been built on mutual respect and extensive bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

“Both countries have consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the development of sustainable technical functional cooperation and programmes, which have allowed us to forge and maintain a dynamic partnership,” he added.

He said that through bilateral cooperation agreements and initiatives, the Government of Cuba has provided invaluable support to Jamaica, particularly in the areas of health and education.

Senator Tavares-Finson, who represented Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, lauded the establishment of the Jamaica/Cuba Eye Care Programme, which began in 2010. To date, he stated that about 30,000 Jamaicans have benefitted under the programme.

Additionally, he said that hundreds of Jamaican students have been the beneficiaries of Cuba’s generosity in advancing their tertiary education in several fields.

He noted that eight students were awarded scholarships in 2019 under the Jamaica Cuban Bilateral Medical Scholarship Programme to pursue studies in Cuba.

Further, Senator Tavares-Finson noted that four educational institutions – Garvey Maceo High School, Clarendon; Jose Marti Technical High School and the G.C. Foster School of Physical Education and Sports, St. Catherine, and the new Fidel Castro Campus of the Anchovy High School, Montpelier, St James – were gifts from the Cuban Government.

“Over 500 Cuban teachers have been assigned to work in all regions of Jamaica over the past years, contributing to Jamaica’s socio-economic development in a very real and practical way,” he said.

He added that Jamaica and Cuba also share bilateral cooperation agreements in the areas of culture, security, agriculture and human resource development.

In her remarks, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Jamaica, Her Excellency Ines Fors Fernandez, said that the relations between Cuba and Jamaica go beyond the number of agreements that have been signed.

She said that the relation between the two countries is much “deeper, profound and sublime and is based on sharing and mutual respect.”

“We are rather bound by the elements of the intangible, which include our shared history, people to people relations, culture, music and dances,” she noted.

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