Cuba no threat to Bim

Barbados should be preparing to exploit available opportunities in Cuba rather than fearfully anticipating crippling competition if American restrictions on that country are eased.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean said this was the stance she was personally taking, and one others in Barbados should also adopt.

She was speaking in the Senate today as members debated the Value Added Tax (Barbados Network Programme) (Validation) Bill, 2012, which contains provisions to make the lives of Barbadians returning home much easier.

McClean said the island’s foreign policy reflected its appreciation about the importance of continual engagement with countries like Cuba.

“In recent times many people have been saying our tourist industry needs to start to fear the opening up of the Cuban market and I say to myself ‘that is a very strange way of thinking, that’s a very negative way of thinking’,” the minister said.

“In these things we should see opportunities in the same way that many of our regional neighbours have done so and what I see as that country’s political system and economic system evolves is the opportunity for creative persons to take advantage of that evolution and to see it as potential for partnership, rather (than) seeing it as potential competition, which would do damage to us.

“But my way of thinking perhaps is one that should be adopted by a lot of other people and really and truly there are opportunities for that to happen,” she added.

The official said Government was keen to fully engage its large Diaspora, in addition to making it easier to reconnect with the land of their birth or descent.

“Barbadians in the Diaspora, whether they are there as part of a Government assignment, whether they are there as private citizens and so on … are making significant contributions and in fact helping to shape and execute our foreign policy,” she said. (SC)

2 Responses to Cuba no threat to Bim

  1. Dagne Leacock November 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Cuba is not a threat to Barbados’ tourism, I agree with Senator McClean, that we should be embracing the opportunities that can be developed. Cuba and Barbados have shared their citizens in education and culture for many years. I am proud be be a Barbadian citizen of Cuban roots, our cultures include so many similarities, both island were colonized by the Europeans, our music is based on the same roots, our respect for family and neighbors, our people are strong, proud, productive and engaging. I say that we continue to embrace and uplift the people of the caribbean as a whole. Remember that the enslavers used the rule of dividing to conquer, let us unite to become stronger!

    Happy Independence Barbados!

  2. Tony Webster December 4, 2012 at 4:30 am

    OK, Cuba is no threat to Barbados’ tourism. Cuba is just a threat to the entire Caribbean. Raul will also live to 130, so we have plenty time to appoint committees to look into anything and everything. And Cubans will beat a path to our door, rather than ships and aircraft shuttling between Havana and Miami, every 30 minutes or so…just 90 miles away, where a huge, wealthy, and experienced Cubano expat society is just chomping at the bit to get back home and use thier new-found experience and capital. The good Lord has given us brains: any particular reason we do not like using them (politics aside)? Fact 1: the Matalons in Jamaica , from the mid-70’s , saw all this coming, and they and other Jamaicans in tourism, have long had joint-ventures in Cuba, as a strategic response to the obvious threat. (you know, half-a-loaf better …) Fact 2: Canadians and Europeans have been trekking to Cuba far vacations, for the last getting huge value-vacations in Cuba, for the last 3/4 decades. WHY? just maybe something to do with value-for-money. Doan worry, just relax; be happy.


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