Grenada's Prime Minister calls Cuba summit 'historic'

Monday, January 27, 2014 12:04 PM -George's, Grenada
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HAVANA, CUBA (GIS/JAN 28, 2014) - Grenada's Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell joins leaders from across the Caribbean and the rest of Latin America at a two day summit in Havana starting Tuesday.

Prime Minister Mitchell is attending his first meeting of the Community of Caribbean and Latin American States, CELAC.

The Grenadian leader arrived late Monday in Havana, greeted by Cuban foreign affairs officials and a military fanfare.

In brief remarks at the Jose Marti International Airport Prime Minister Mitchell praised his Cuban hosts for the continued strong ties between Havana and St George's.
"The Cuban government and people and its leadership have continually demonstrated its support in many ways to the government of people and Grenada. We have received serious benefits in the areas of education, healthcare, agriculture and other major services," Prime Minister Mitchell said.
"Cuba has been a genuine friend to Grenada," he declared.

Prime Minister Mitchell said the CELAC meeting is being held "at a very special time in the history of the world community."
He said the meeting is an opportunity to address the challenges facing small states in particular.

"This meeting at this time bringing together all the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean must be seen as a historic one. We believe therefore the more we pull our resources together and unite our forces together, using the available tools that are there before us, we will be able to meet those challenges successfully and satisfy the wishes of our people," he said on arrival.

The summit - which excludes leaders from the US, Canada, and overseas European territories -- is the first since the death of former Venezuelan president Hugo Ch√°vez, who led efforts to organize an alternative to the Organization of American States (OAS) regional bloc, long seen by leaders in the hemisphere as being disproportionately responsive to US interests.
At the top of the agenda at the meeting Tuesday and Wednesday are poverty and inequality, trade and migration.

Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Oliver Joseph is accompanying the Prime Minister at the summit.

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Peter David is also serving as an Advisor during the visit on the issue of Latin American affairs.
Grenada's Ambassador in Cuba, Claris Charles has been attended the lead-up meetings to the summit over the last few days.






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