JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding is of the view that the United States embargo against Cuba has no usefulness and that its impracticability is glaringly obvious and stands in stark contrast to how other countries are treated.
Mr. Golding’s comments were made on Wednesday, July 23 at a forum hosted by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) under the theme ‘Cuba and its Neighbours: The Challenges of Change.’ The forum was held at the Mona Visitor’s Lodge at the University of the West Indies. “My hope is that within a short time we can see an end to the isolation of Cuba,” Mr. Golding said, adding that it was his expectation that its relations within Latin America will shortly be fully normalized.
He said a window of opportunity now exists with increasing interaction between Cuba and US Congressmen and the expressed willingness by a presidential candidate to engage Cuba.
Mr. Golding said the challenges facing Cuba were exacerbated by the embargo and were evident in the 1980s when developing countries were able to take advantage of the triumph of market philosophy over state control regimes. He said Cuba was not able to do this and that faced with its own realities, used its resources to place priority attention on human development. “They have an advantage in that they have been able to build up a capacity that is going to put them way ahead,” Mr. Golding said.
He said the pace at which Cuba is transforming should be determined by the Cuban people themselves and that the international community should help to encourage them in that transformation in a non-intrusive way. Mr. Golding said there are issues that would have to be dealt with, including democracy and fundamental rights which are not merely sovereign issues, but are universal issues that have been embraced by the international community.
He said the international community should work towards creating a new theatre of constructive engagement with Cuba in which there is general acceptance of the fundamental principles that all nations must observe. Mr. Golding said this engagement should involve “respect for the sovereignty and the right of self determination and most of all respect and support for the Cuban people”.