Chile’s Ambassador to Grenada, Fernando Ayala presents his letters of credentials to Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade
Chile’s Ambassador to Grenada, Fernando Ayala has presented his letters of credentials to Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade and reaffirmed the strong bonds of friendship existing between the two countries.
Relations were first established in 1975 under the former Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) government of late Prime Minister Sir Eric Matthew Gairy.
The ties were broken off four years later in 1979 when the Marxist People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) of slain Prime Minister Maurice Bishop took power in a coup d’etat.
Bishop’s New Jewel Movement (NJM) party had often accused Chile under its military dictatorship of General Auguste Pinochet of providing military training and assistance to the Gairy regime to help oppress its opponents.
The downfall of the PRG and end to Grenada’s flirtation with Marxist rule in the October 1983 U.S-led military intervention paved the way for a resumption of ties between Grenada and Chile.
In his address at the brief ceremony, Ambassador Ayala alluded to Chile’s commitment to respect the sovereignty of other states.
“…We have promoted an active foreign policy based on the principles of respect for international law, territorial integrity and the promotion of democracy, human rights and mutual corporation and the rule of law”, he said.
The envoy spoke of Chile co-operating with Grenada and other regional states on an “agenda of cooperation in different areas as well as signing bilateral political agreements in order to share experiences and find solutions to the problems that affect us.”
He noted that Chile and Grenada are members of the Community of South America and Caribbean nations (CELAC), and together share views and common interests on a number of important issues and are bent on expanding this to other areas to further enrich the bilateral relationship.
He recalled a visit to Grenada last April, by a delegation from the International Cooperation Agency in Chile, led by its Executive Director, to evaluate the work Programme for 2012-2014 and prospects for new areas of action, aimed at working together with Caribbean nations.
According to Ambassador Ayala, Chile is committed to working together through specific bilateral programmes with member states of CARICOM.
“We (are interested in) opportunities in areas such as education and agriculture among others but most importantly, we are open to hearing from you about your priorities”, he said.
“This is my second visit to your country and since my first arrival, I have been able to enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of your people. I therefore feel committed to working on strengthening the relations between Chile and Grenada,” he added.
The island’s female Head of State recalled that both Chile and Grenada enjoyed cordial and co-operative diplomatic relations in the areas of education, and training since they re-established diplomatic relations in 1995.
“In 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received a gift of computers which were placed at the St Paul’s Government School and the Morne Jaloux Roman Catholic School for use by our primary school students”, the Governor General said
“In 2012 your government offered training courses for professional development at the Masters level, scholarships have been offered in the important areas of Agricultural Science, Regional and Urban Planning, Economics and Management, Education and Training, technology and Engineering, Geography and Geology, Medical Sciences, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences to Grenadians, for which we thank you”, she added.
Over the years, Chile has also offered training courses at the diploma level for the teaching of Spanish as a second language and within the last year, two officers of the Ministry of Foreign affairs have benefited from diplomatic training courses in Chile.
The island has also received a gift of eight lap top computers from Chile.
Dame La Grenade assured Ambassador Ayala that Grenada would continue to work together with Chile on issues of mutual concerns, as the two countries work towards deepening their relationship.