You can now listen to Antigua News articles!
Antigua and Barbuda and the Republic of Cuba have pledged to enhance their cooperation as Cuba’s new resident Ambassador Sergio Manuel Matinez Gonzalez begins his tour of duty in Antigua and Barbuda.
During a meeting with Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Tuesday, Ambassador Gonzalez praised the Prime Minister’s leadership on the regional and international stage in the climate change and justice campaign for Small Island Developing States.
Ambassador Gonzalez also pledged to not only maintain existing relations but also to improve the nearly thirty-year relationship between the two countries.
Antigua and Barbuda and the Republic of Cuba established diplomatic relations on April 6, 1994, with the then Ambassador to the United Nations and current Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Lionel Hurst, signing the agreement in New York.
The Cuban Ambassador also pledged to expand on trade and economic development to further the bilateral agenda while exploring cultural exchanges.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s government is credited with expanding the diplomatic relations with Cuba, and he expressed solidarity with Cuba, particularly in the removal of the financial blockade placed on Cuba by the United States.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that Cuba has been a critical partner of Antigua and Barbuda in helping to build human capacity through education and the provision of healthcare personnel.
He also expressed his intention to continue cooperating with Cuba on international issues such as climate change.
Both countries have pursued common interests as members of the United Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS).
Antigua and Barbuda has benefited from the assistance of hundreds of Cuban health professionals, including doctors, nurses and lab technicians, over the past twenty years, who form the Cuban Medical Brigade.
The Republic of Cuba has invested in its future by providing hundreds of scholarships to young Antiguans and Barbudans, building capacity at the local level and contributing to skills development and economic growth.
Currently, the Prime Minister’s Scholarship program in conjunction with the government of the Republic of Cuba is offering scholarships for students to pursue medical studies in Cuba commencing in February of 2024. Nine (9) medical scholarships, one (1) dentistry, seven (7) nursing, and five (5) specialization scholarships for Cuban trained doctors are available, and the application period ends on December 19, 2023.