Cuba and CARICOM Firm on Terrorism

Campaign News | Monday, 12 December 2005

Participants lay wreath at monument to those killked in the terrorist attack of 1976

Havana Dec 12: A strong commitment in the fight against terrorism is one the main results of the Second Cuba-CARICOM Summit held this week in Bridgetown, Barbados, said participants on Cuba’s nightly radio and television program “The Round Table.”

Program host Randy Alonso highlighted the presence of Cuban President Fidel Castro at the gathering, where the leaders of CARICOM member states paid tribute to the 73 victims of the terrorist bombing of a Cuban passenger plane off Barbados on October 6, 1976.

Alonso said the emotional ceremony at the marble pyramid monument with the engraved names of the victims was a fitting reminder of the pain wrought by terrorism.

The panelists recalled that the mastermind of that despicable act, Luis Posada Carriles, remains under the protection of the US government, while awaiting a trial on minor immigration violations instead of being extradited to Venezuela to stand trial for the horrible crime.

Posada is a naturalized Venezuelan, accused of plotting the mass killing from that South American country. He escaped from prison in 1985 before he could be tried.

Moments of the press conference given by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the end of the summit were shown on the program. He called for the release of the Cuban Five, serving long prison terms in the United States for fighting terrorism, in the aftermath of a biased trial held in Miami.

The Cuban leader also voiced his deep appreciation for CARICOM nations maintaining productive and integrationist relations with Cuba despite Washington’s relentless efforts to isolate the island.

The gathering also resulted in the signing of an agreement to create a working group to fight HIV-AIDS. The region is in the second hardest hit by the disease in the world. There was also an accord for the training of nurses and doctors.

The Round Table panelists considered the complex economic situation the Caribbean nations are facing with the plummeting prices of their prime exports, bananas and sugar, and the unfair competition from developed nations who subsidize their farm productions.

Cuba’s contribution to human development was stressed, and the panelists noted that under the Operation Miracle eye care project a total of over 10,500 citizens from the region have received eye surgery free of charge on the island in the last four and a half months.

At the end of the program, host Randy Alonso read a letter by Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Kenneth Anthony, where he voiced his nation’s appreciation for Cuban assistance in the fields of education and health.

The Cuban delegation returned home Friday morning and was welcomed by first vice president, Raul Castro and other high-ranking Communist Party and government officials.

Havana, Dec 9 (AIN) With the signing of the Bridgetown Declaration on the strengthening of bilateral cooperation, the 2nd Cuba-Caricom Summit concluded in Barbados on Thursday.

The declaration strongly condemns the 44-year economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba.

Another document signed during the summit condemns terrorism and urges Washington to extradite Luis Posada Carriles, one of the authors of the bombing of a Cubana airliner in 1976 off the coast of Barbados killing all 73 people on board.

The Caribbean heads of state and government reaffirmed their commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, with strict observance of international law and UN resolutions.

The document states that those who support, help the financing, planning or preparation and execution of terrorist actions, or that provide shelter or attempt to take part in such acts, must be identified, arrested, denied protection and submitted to justice.

Participants at the Cuba-Caricom Summit also signed an agreement to expand bilateral culture exchanges in the region.

Prior to the signing of the documents, Cuban President Fidel Castro laid a wreath at the monument to the victims of the 1976 bombing of the Cubana airliner off the coast of Barbados. President Castro was accompanied by Carlos Cremata, son of one of the flight's crew members.

Others Caribbean leaders including Saint Lucia's PM Kenny Anthony and Bharrat Jaddeo of Guyana also laid flowers at the marble pyramid monument.

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