Caribbean Political Economy

Forty Years of Cuba-CARICOM Friendship and Cooperation

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December 8 2012 marks the fortieth anniversary of the day when four independent states of the Commonwealth Caribbean, in defiance of the hemispheric hegemon, opened full diplomatic relations with Cuba. Today all of CARICOM maintains close ties of friendship and cooperation with the sister republic, which continues to maintain its revolutionary project in spite of a US-imposed blockade which has been repeatedly condemned by the overwhelming majority of the world community. A selection of items from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba commemorating the 40th anniversary.

Jamaica, Cuba celebrate forty years of friendship YesCuba

Citation to the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples Jamaican Network in Solidarity with Cuba

Forty years of cooperation Humberto Rosario Trinidad Express

Sandy solidarity to Cuba from UWI students Milagros Martinez

Medical Training in Cuba: A Personal Experience, Wendy Campbell

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Wendy Campbell is past Head Girl at Garvey Maceo High School in Jamaica and a final-year medical student in Cuba.  In this article she speaks of her experience  in Cuba over the past six years.

“As someone who benefited from the exposure to Cuba’s medical system, I would like to give back to Jamaica; I would like to use the knowledge that I have gained in Cuba to implement some of the programmes than can be implemented, especially the system of primary health care.”

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Cuba, A Healthy Island, Salim Lamrani

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Cuba, with the highest number of doctors per capita in the world, and the lowest infant mortality in all the Americas, is currently training over 24,000 doctors from 116 counties free of charge in its medical schools; and has medical training programmes in,   eight other countries . Salim Lamrani teaches at the Sorbonne in Paris.

SINCE the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, the development of Cuban medicine has been a government priority. The country is now a point of reference internationally, with Cuba, in fact, currently having the highest number of doctors per inhabitant in the world…


Read Scholarships to the Daughters of Nanny and to the Sons of Cudjoe and of Tacky, Dellie-Ann Antoinette Green

Olympic Coverage: Another Cuban Gift to the World, Keith Ellis

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‘ Sport Internationalism’ is little known dimension of Cuba’s international mission of solidarity.

From the beginning of the London Olympic Games of 2012 to one day after the closing ceremonies, Cuba provided coverage 24 hours every day in the country, ´s language, Spanish. What is more, the coverage was entirely free of commercials…


Cuba International Book Fair 2012 – An Invitation

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The 21 Cuba International Book Fair’2012 will be held from February 9th to the 19th, 2012.It will pay tribute to the Bicentennial of the rebellion organized by José Antonio Aponte against the Spanish colonial empire in Cuba and the Centennial of the Colored Independent Party members’ uprising. It will also honor our many Caribbean cultures, envisioned as a great cultural melting pot, diverse and at the same time integrated by their common history..

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Interview: Cuba’s Health Care Miracle in Haiti, Canada Haiti Action Network

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Dr. Jorge Balseiro Estevez is Director of the University Hospital of Psychiatry in Camaguey, Cuba; a member of Henry Reeve Cuban Internationalist Medical Brigade[1] and a director of the Brigade’s field hospital in the city of Leogí¢ne, Haiti. Here he is interviewed by Roger Annis of the Canada Hati Action Network, while on a speaking tour of Canada.

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ALBA and the Future of Regional Integration

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A total of 77 people attended the first international academic conference on the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) held at London Metropolitan University on 29 January, which attracted academics from Puerto Rico, Istanbul, Canada, Cuba, Venezuela and the English-speaking Caribbean. Papers dealt with ALBA and regionalism in South America, research on ALBA in Venezuela, Cuba’s medical mission in Venezuela, ALBA ‘grandnational’ projects, ALBA and the English-speaking Caribbean,,   and the successes, setbacks and challenges of ALBA.

Click here for the Conference Programme, Abstracts and Presentations

Haiti: The Dismissal Of Ricardo Seitenfus and The Fight Against Cholera, Fidel Castro

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On December 25, 2010, the Organization of American States announced the dismissal of its Special Representative in Haiti, the distinguished Brazilian diplomat, Ricardo Seitenfus. This dismissal followed the publication of an interview with Seitenfus by the Swiss Newspaper, Le Temps. In this commentary, the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, quotes extensively from the Seitenfus interview; and gives new information on the Cuban medical programme in Haiti and the fight against cholera.

The OAS Secretary General, decided, at the beginning of 2009, to appoint as his personal representative in Haiti a Brazilian intellectual, Ricardo Seitenfus who at that time was working in his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Seitenfus was enjoying well-deserved prestige in diplomatic and government circles in the Haitian capital because of the seriousness and openness with which he was dealing with the problems. In 1993 he had written a book called “Haiti: Sovereignty of the Dictators”. He visited Haiti for the first time that year…

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Haiti in the hands of the NGOs Christophe Wargny, Le Monde Diplomatique

The Real Heroes of the Haitian Earthquake Disaster, Nina Lakhani

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From the U.K. Independent, December 26, 2010

They are the real heroes of the Haitian earthquake disaster, the human catastrophe on America’s doorstep which Barack Obama pledged a monumental US humanitarian mission to alleviate. Except these heroes are from America’s arch-enemy Cuba, whose doctors and nurses have put US efforts to shame…

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Brazil funds Cuban aid programme in Haiti with $80 million Cuba News

Cuba Will Send an Additional 300 Medical Personnel to Haiti to Help Fight the Cholera Epidemic


The Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, revealed on November 26 that Cuba will send an additional 300 doctors, nurses and health technicians to Haiti, in response to an appeal by Valerie Amos, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, which has so far raised less than ten percent the $164 million needed. In a further note on November 27, he reported that there had not been a single cholera death in seven days within the 37 treatment centres being run by the Cuban Medical Mission in Haiti.

Note: Valerie Amos was the first Black woman Cabinet Minister in the UK Government and went on to become Leader of the British House of Lords and UK High Commissioner to Australia. Baroness Amos was born in Guyana.

Haiti: Underdevelopment and Genocide, Reflections by Fidel Castro

Just a few months ago, on July 26, 2010, Lucius Walker, the head of the American organization Pastors for Peace, at an encounter with Cuban intellectuals and artists, asked me what the solution for Haiti’s problems would be…

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What’s Happening in Haiti? Emiliano Mariscal

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The following is an English translation of an item that was published on the website of ALBA-TCP on Thursday 4, November and forwarded by a colleague. It appears to be a letter written by an Argentine doctor serving with the Cuban medical brigade in Haiti to,  his friends and family,  in response to their concerns,  about the cholera outbreak and the,  approach of tropical storm/hurricane Tomas. It relates how,  the Cuban medical brigade, working with the Haitian authorities, helped to detect,  the cholera outbreak, to provide early treatment,,  and to delay its spread to Port au Prince.,  Such examples of,  solidarity seem to be,  worth emulating in the light of the controversy that has broken out in CARICOM over conditions attached,  to relief assistance.

To my friends and family: These lines are meant to provide information on the health situation in Haiti, as a result of the concern of many friends who have written asking about conditions here. The first thing I can say is that we have a disease–cholera–which has not been reported in this country for over 100 years. Secondly, that it is one of the most dreaded diseases here, given the ideal conditions that exist for its persistence and spread…

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Selective Commendation, Selective Indignation: Recent Media Coverage of Cuba, Emily Kirk, John Kirk and Norman Girvan

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On March 31, representatives of over 50 governments and international organizations gathered at the United Nations Haiti Donor Conference to pledge long-term assistance for the rebuilding of Haiti. At the conference, Cuba made arguably the most ambitious and impressive pledge of all countries-to rebuild the entire National Health Service. While the efforts of other government have been praised, those of Cuba, however, have largely been ignored in the media…

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Republished versions

La reciente cobertura de Cuba en los medios:Elogios selectivos, indignación selectiva

Selective Commendation, Selective Indignation CounterPunch

Cut,   Out The Selective Reporting Jamaica Observer

Media Blind to Cuba’s Haiti Effort Trinidad Express

Selective Commendation, Selective Indignation PAPDA: Haitian Platform for Development Alternatives

A worldwide Battle of Life and Death, Part II Alberto Jones

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Alberto Jones is an Afro-Cuban of Jamaican origin who runs the Caribbean American Children Foundation in Palm Coast, Florida

Historically, anti-Cuba groups based in Florida and Europe have systematically accused the Cuban government of being racist…

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Cuba’s Statement at the UN Haiti Donor Conference


The program for the reconstruction and strengthening of the Haitian national healthcare system, drawn up by the Haitian government and Cuban governments, with the cooperation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and other countries and humanitarian organizations, will guarantee wide health coverage for the population, in particular the low-income sector…

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Cuba’s Humanitarian Imagination, Alissa Trotz


From Stabroek News April 5, 2010

On Saturday the Stabroek News carried a small report on a Guyanese doctor trained in Cuba (one of a larger group of 64) who had been posted to the Lethem Hospital. This is Cuba’s medical internationalism at work (the subject of an excellent book by Canadian professor John Kirk), and something we have been accustomed to in Guyana since the 1970s..

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Related items

Cuban Medical Aid to Haiti: One of the World’s Best Kept Secrets Emily J Kirk and John M Kirk, CounterPunch

Lies and Facts in The Media War Against Cuba Arnold August, Global Research

Mentiras y hechos en la Guerra mediática contra Cuba Arnold August, Global Research

African Stalingrad, by Isaac Saney


The Cuban Revolution, Internationalism, and the End of Apartheid

Latin American Perspectives, Issue 150, Vol. 33 No. 5, September 2006 81-117

Isaac Saney

Isaac Saney

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Cuban Revolution continues to be the various internationalist missions it has sent to other countries. From the earliest years ofthe revolution, Cuba has sent thousands of doctors, teachers, and other personnel on humanitarian assignments to various countries (see, e.g., Erisman, 1991). In the mid-199Os, for example, Cuba had three times as many doctors as the World Health Organization serving abroad and providing free medical treatment (Castro, 1996: 30-31)….However, the most dramatic manifestation of Cuba’s internationalism is little known in the West: the island’s crucial role in securing the independence of Namibia and ending racist rule in South Africa.

Read African Stalingrad

Extended comment by Trevor Watt