Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is calling on the United States (US) government to remove the unjust blockade against Cuba.
He was speaking during a ceremony held at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Over 60 Cuban construction brigades were recognized at that ceremony.
They have been on island for the past 14 months to assist in the country’s recovery efforts post Hurricane Maria.
The United States currently imposes a commercial, economic, and financial embargo against Cuba. The United States first imposed an embargo on the sale of arms to Cuba on March 14, 1958, during the Fulgencio Batista regime.
“I will always stand in defense of the sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba,” Skerrit said. “Cuba has a right to self-determination and we will continue to call on the United States government to remove this unjust blockade against the Cuban people and the great people of the Cuban Revolution.”
He continued, “I will do so as a matter of principle and as it is said we can always negotiate words, but we must never negotiate principle.”
Skerrit said Dominica’s commitment to Cuba and its people, its independence and its sovereignty is unquestionable.
“This is why we have always opposed sanctions on countries, because sanctions only bring hardship to the ordinary men and women of countries,” he stated. “But not withstanding the sanctions on the Cuban people, see what they have done to humanity, see the contributions they have made to the world.”
Furthermore, he said the Cubans who have been assisting Dominica for the past 14 months have been exceptional ambassadors of the Cuban Revolution and the Cuban government.
“You have touched the lives of many ordinary citizens in Dominica, who, without you, would have had a difficulty in getting a roof back over their heads in quick time,” Skerrit said.
Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Chandler Hyacinth said the Cubans have made their mark.
“You have made your mark, 185 homes rebuilt,” she said.”The 14 rooms at the Dominica State College (DSC) that they re-covered and the primary schools that they reconstructed, in particular the Colihaut Primary School and now the Salisbury Primary School and you also did some work at the Dublanc Pre-School.”
She thanked the Cuban team immensely for their contribution to the country’s resilience building efforts.
“In particular, we admire and we give praises to you for the quality of work that you have delivered, the dedication and commitment that you have shown towards the efforts. We have learnt from your commitment and dedication to task,” Hyacinth stated.