HAVANA – The new geopolitical scenario, the challenges imposed by today’s often discriminatory migration policies, climate change and the search for sustainable economic development demand a united response by Caribbean nations, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Friday.
At the inauguration of the 22nd Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) based in Havana, Rodriguez defended unity and consensus as the only viable way to deal with the vast changes taking place in the worldwide panorama,” and which have “significant repercussions” in the region.
In his capacity as host and president of the Council of Ministers, the Cuban official called attention to the “discriminatory and repressive migration policies that could lead to more deportations and discrimination against Latin American and Caribbean migrants.”
He also noted the “application of extreme protectionist measures in trade matters,” which could mean “a serious impact on the development” of Caribbean economies, because of their negative effect on job creation, revenues, industry and commerce.
“Against the wall they now intend to build, we must continue to be united, solidary and complementary, Rodriguez said at the opening of the meeting, presided over by Cuban President Raul Castro.
Rodriguez noted how member states are strengthening the organization and the growing number of observer nations actively participating in promoting ties of cooperation to meet Caribbean needs, with emphasis on developing the areas of transport and tourism while dealing with climate change.
To take advantage of the presence of representatives of ACS member nations, most of them also members of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), a meeting will be held Saturday between Cuba and that organization, mostly made up of English-speaking Caribbean countries.
The Association of Caribbean States was founded July 24, 1994, in Cartagena, Colombia, to promote the consultation, cooperation and communal action of Caribbean countries.
Member states of the ACS are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.