Guyana and Cuba to commemorate 40 years of diplomatic relations
Guyana will be joining its CARICOM partners to commemorate 40 years of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba on December 8 with a series of activities including cultural events, special public engagements, and interviews with key stakeholders.
The highlight of the anniversary celebrations will be the grand reception on December 8.
Four independent CARICOM countries Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana broke the diplomatic embargo and recognised the Republic of Cuba on December 8, 1972.
Guyana and Cuba have continued to build upon the spirit of cooperation that has characterised their diplomatic relations and which has contributed to the development of Guyana’s human resource base especially in the areas of education and health.
The Cuban scholarship programme, which is perhaps the biggest success story of the Guyana-Cuba relations, dates back to a state visit by Guyana’s former President Bharrat Jagdeo to Cuba where he met then leader of the island Fidel Castro and secured a pact for scholarships to the Spanish-speaking island, retinal surgeries for Guyanese patients, and four diagnostic and treatment facilities.
From the first batch of 500 students to have ventured off to study, 69 are back in Guyana pursuing their final year exams. It is anticipated that 278 will be returning next year. Additionally, the Government of Cuba recently announced that they will be offering four specialist scholarships in the areas of pathology, psychiatry, gynecology and dermatology.
Cuba also provided financing for Guyana’s National Ophthalmology Hospital, a major accomplishment in the health sector, at Port Mourant, Berbice and seconded specialised staff, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, administrators and bio-medical technicians to operate the facility until the return of Guyanese medical students.
In October, President Donald Ramotar visited Cuba where the bilateral programme of cooperation was further advanced with the signing of agreements on the exemption of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, official and service passports and cooperation in the areas of sports and health.
Guyana also informed Cuba of its decision to exempt Cuban nationals from visa requirements to enter and remain in Guyana for periods not exceeding 90 days for the holders of all categories of passports.