PRESS RELEASE – THE Saint Lucia-Cuba Humanistic Solidarity Association’s (HSA) General Membership Meeting to observe its 13th Anniversary and Fidel Castro’s 92nd birthday, on Saturday 18, August, 2018, at the Finance Administrative Centre, Point Seraphine, Castries was a success.
Cuban Ambassador Jorge Soberon highlighted the work done by the association under the leadership of President Marlene Alexander and the Executive.
He remarked that, “The Association has successfully contributed to the strengthening of friendship between the peoples of Cuba and Saint Lucia.”
The association’s support for the fight against the unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba, the US Naval Base presence in Guantanamo and the US immigration policies that damage relations with Cuba, is reason for recognition.”
“The association has carried out important activities with excellent quality’ expressing respect for the legacy of the National Hero of Cuba, Jose Marti and of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.”
He said, “We wish to highlight also the noble and unforgettable gesture of the monetary donation (EC
$10,000.00) to the Cuban people after the devasting passage of the hurricane of 2017,” indicating that these actions demonstrate with facts the firm friendship this association has been able to consolidate for the benefit of the Cuban peoples.”
“The activism of HSA and its exchange with the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP, is also a success of the relations of among our peoples, which are developed in the areas of health, infrastructure, ports, culture, education and agriculture, among others.
The Cuban Ambassador also noted that on August 23, 2019, Cuba and Saint Lucia will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the same year in which, on February 22, the Anniversary of Saint Lucia’s 40th independence will be recognised.
The work of the Cuban medical personnel in Saint Lucia was also highlighted, as well as the many scholarships Cuba has given to Saint Lucians Students since 1979.
To date 560 Saint Lucians have graduated in Cuba, of which 277 graduated in medicine.
He noted that between 2015 and 2017, 110,074 medical consultations were facilitated by the collaborators at the Victoria Hospital. Including 4, 804 surgeries were performed, of which 2, 484 were eye surgery.
The Ambassador thanked President Marlene Alexander and members of the Association deeply for the firm friendship, the Association has been able to consolidate for the benefit of our people.
The president, also expressed her thanks and gratitude to the Ambassador for the high level of collaboration, commitment and support to the HSA.
The tribute to Fidel on his 92nd Birthday was delivered by Vice President Peter Lansiquot.
In his remarks he heighted the tremendous contribution of the people of Cuba, through their many universities, and that the Cuban University International Scholarship Programme was developed at Fidel’s initiative among others.
A brief history of the first Cuba Friendship Association was delivered by Earl Bousquet. He highlighted that the HSA was a continuation of the original Saint Lucia-Cuba Friendship Association, which was formed in 1978 after group of Saint Lucians return from the 11th World festival of youth and students in Havana.
He said one of the main differences between the original association and the Humanistic Solidarity Association is that the former was a group of like-minded persons ideologically, the HSA comprises everyone with reason for solidarity with Cuba, irrespective of their political or ideological views.
Nick Jn Baptiste, Secretary-HSA, presented the Secretary/Treasurer’ Report, followed by HSA’s President, Marlene Alexander, who presented a power-point presentation with the Mission, Goals and Objectives of HSA, including an overview of the activities and achievement of the association over the past 13 years.
The president also highlighted that, “we must not forget the vision of the founders and the hard work of the past Executive of HSA, headed by Rawle Harvey, over the years.”
The president also highlighted the contribution of the Venezuelan Ambassador and that we must continue to stand in Solidarity with our sister Island.
The announcement and presentation of HSA’s website was facilitated by Marie-Claude Alexander on behalf of Ms. Celia Reid, IT specialist and member of HSA, who developed the website.
The audience was also updated on HSA’s upcoming activities, which included (but were not limited to) Cuba-Saint Lucia Cultural activity in October, A Homage to Fidel Castro (in commemoration of the 2nd Anniversary of his death) and the HAS’s two-week Execution to Cuba from April to May, 2019.
The president also recognised and commended members for the continued HSA support and encouraged non-members to join and support the association. (Humanistic Solidarity Association)