Nevis Strengthens Partnership With Communist Cuba

Joaquin Lacke Portuando  and Mark Brantley

Joaquin Lacke Portuando and Mark Brantley

Charlestown, Nevis
October 19, 2013

Acting Premier of Nevis and Minister of Health Hon. Mark Brantley, welcomed the Eastern Caribbean Director of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Mr. Joaquin Lacke Portuando to Nevis and expressed gratitude to Cuba, for the bonds that existed between Nevis and St. Kitts and Nevis over the years. The Cuban Official had paid a courtesy call to Mr. Brantley’s Bath Plain office on October 14, 2013.

The Cuban official was at the time visiting St. Kitts and Nevis from October 09-15, 2013, to speak about future cooperation between Cuba and the Federation. The Cuba-St. Kitts/Nevis Friendship Association, which was established in 1989, has afforded persons in the Federation scholarships to pursue studies in Cuba, in the areas of Accounting, Engineering and in particular Medicine. During his remarks, Mr. Brantley expressed his gratitude towards Cuba for its continued contribution to the development of the Federation.

“I want to personally express the gratitude of the people of Nevis and I suppose I can say the people of St. Kitts and Nevis for the bonds of friendship that have existed now for many years and for your continued assistance in our development, particularly in health care,” he said.

Mr. Brantley also expressed his appreciation to Cuba for its contribution to education on Nevis through the scholarships programmes.

“I think all of us have been assisted in some way, some shape or some form from scholarships by assistance of friendly governments and Cuba has been head and shoulders above everybody else, in terms of providing scholarships to assist our people in advancing ourselves. I want to thank you and I want to say that we cherish the bonds of friendship very much. We trust and hope that we as a small country can continue to partner with Cuba and continue to have a good relationship with the government and people of Cuba.

“We thank you for all that you’ve done and all that you continue to do and I’m sure that I speak on behalf of all of these Nevisians here who have gone and benefited from the training provided and who now are coming back and giving us tremendous service to the people of Nevis. So we thank you very much for that… and we hope and pray that your country continues to prosper …as we continue this partnership and trust and hope that it lasts for a very long time. Thank you for coming and thank you for your assistance to our people,” he said.

In response, Mr. Lacke Portuando expressed satisfaction that the scholarship programmes continued to be of benefit to Nevis and noted that they were mindful of their significance.

“We don’t have a lot of money to give, but for the training of professionals we can help in this way. We are in every condition to receive the people that go to our country in order to prepare themselves and go back to their country to contribute in the development,” he said.

Also present were Nevisian professionals who had benefited from the scholarship programme offered by Cuba to Nevis, President of Cuba-St. Kitts/Nevis Friendship Association Ms. Telca Wallace and First Secretary at the Cuban Embassy Mrs. Teresi Toranzo Castillo.

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