Cultural artistes off to Cuba

DancersGrenada has sent a 27-member cultural team to Cuba as part of the growing relations with the two countries.

The team departed from the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) on October 23 to spend two weeks in the Spanish-speaking country

The cultural delegation is comprised of eleven (11) members of LIME Commancheroes steel orchestra, eight (8) members each of the Grenada Trade Center Innovation Dance Company and Tivoli Drummers.

The team will perform at various venues in the province of Havana and Matanzas as well as perform for the students of the Maurice Bishop Special- Ed school, the “Conchita Concepción” Music and Dance Elemental School from Cerro municipality.

DrummersOne of the organisers said that the Grenadian cultural artistes will also perform nightly at a number of other venues during their stay in Cuba.

“There will be a cultural exchange with the teachers and students from “Guillermo Tomás” Elemental School of Music and Dance”, said the organiser.

“Over the years, Cuba has given tremendous support to Grenada in every sphere and this is one way of showing our appreciation and giving back”, he added.

The visit of the Grenadians cultural artistes was co-ordinated by the island’s resident Ambassador to Cuba, former Education Minister Claris Charles with assistance from the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).

The organisers also expressed special thanks to Martin Bedeau of the Grenada Trade Center, Grenada National Lottery Authority, Grenada Airports Authority, as well as the Cuban Ambassador to Grenada, Maria Caridad Balaguer Labrada, Culture Minister, Senator Brenda Hood, Foreign Minister Nicholas Steele and Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Astral Travel.

Grenada was once considered as Cuba’s closest ally in the English-speaking Caribbean during the 1979-83 period of left-leaning rule of the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) of Marxist leader, Maurice Bishop.

PannistsA bloody palace coup staged by hardliners within Bishop’s ruling New Jewel Movement (NJM) on October 19, 1983 set the stage for U.S and Caribbean troops to storm the island six days later and return Grenada to Westminster Parliamentary rule of law.

The then Governor-General, Sir Paul Scoon who took control of the island and formed an Interim Administration headed by Sir Nicholas Brathwaite expelled all diplomats from Cuba and other communist nations from the island.

Havana refused to recognise Grenada until a deal was brokered in the 1990-95 rule of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for the Cuban government in exchange for official recognition of Grenada was allowed to enter the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

Since then, the two countries have continued to strengthen their diplomatic relations with the Cubans once again providing assistance to Grenada with scholarships and medical personnel.

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