On Saturday April 16th, the Embassy of Grenada in Havana celebrated 37 years of friendship between Grenada and Cuba which began with the establishment of Diplomatic Relations on April 14th, 1979.
Former First Secretary of the Cuban Embassy in Grenada, Gaston Diaz, spoke about “the evolution of the relationship between our two countries”, and outlined his work and experiences in Grenada as well as the collaborative efforts by Cuba from 1979 to 1983.
Her Excellency, Claris Charles gave an historic overview of Grenada/Cuba relations, which began in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s when Grenadian workers migrated to Cuba to work on the sugar cane plantations.
Many of them, she said remained in Cuba and their legacy lives on in the number of their descendants in Cuba today and who were present at the ceremony.
She further highlighted the co-operation between the two countries and the many areas of Cuban assistance throughout the years which included scholarships, infrastructural development.
Medical and other professional workers, free healthcare in Cuba to Grenadian, the ‘Miracle Eye’ program, the Sandino block plant, an Agro industrial plant, the General Hospital, the “yes I can” literacy program and the Maurice Bishop International Airport – our gateway to economic development among others.
Ambassador Charles ended her discourse by saying thanks to Fidel, Raul, the Government and people of Cuba for their tremendous sacrifice, solidarity and friendship.
She further stated that never in the history of this world has a small poor country like Cuba given so much, to so many, with so little.
Tokens of appreciation were then presented to all past Ambassadors and First Secretaries as well as to some Cuban professionals who worked in Grenada.
The ceremony ended with a dinner comprising of Grenadian and Cuban foods and drinks, a documentary on scenes of Grenada from 1979 to the present as well as dancing to the music of both countries.
The following persons received tokens of appreciation:
Mr. Jorge Rey, Interpreter
Ms. Ruby Despaigne, the Engineer who designed the General Hospital
Dr. Mabel Lugo, Eyes specialist
Dr. Livan Salazar, Surgeon Gaston Diaz, First Secretary at the Embassy (1979 to 1983)
Julien Torres Rizo (1979-1983)