The Honourable W. Baldwin Spencer
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and
Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
The Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC) welcomes the recent call by the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at the Third CARICOM-Cuba Summit held in Santiago de Cuba earlier this month for an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo of the Republic of Cuba.
We support the appeal urging the Government of the United States of America (USA) to heed the consistently overwhelming call of the member states of the United Nations to lift the unjust embargo and to cease the application of measures adopted as of 6 May 2004 to reinforce that policy. The CCC concurs with the description of the embargo given earlier this year by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, as “ethically unacceptable”.
It is difficult to ignore the significant changes which have taken place, regionally and globally, since the imposition of the embargo 46 years ago. More importantly, it is impossible to deny the damaging impact the measure has had on millions of people, within and outside of Cuba, and on the region as a whole.
The Caribbean Conference of Churches has been consistent in its support for pan-Caribbean integration and development for over 30 years and shares the view that, like all other territories of the region, Cuba is an integral part of this process.
For this reason, along with the adverse effect on the quality of life of millions of persons over the decades, the CCC has advocated vigorously, for several years, for the removal of this embargo by the USA.
We are of the view that meaningful engagement and peaceful negotiation are among the most constructive paths to overcoming differences and influencing genuine long-lasting change in which all would be ready to participate.
It would seem that currently prevailing conditions are conducive to the initiation of a new approach to this issue and we therefore endorse the call of the Heads of Government of CARICOM for a reconsideration of this measure by the incoming Government of the United States of America.
Please accept, Prime Minister, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Gerard A. J. Granado
Caribbean Conference of Churches
December 19, 2008