It was a double celebration this week in recognition of the 164th anniversary of the birth of Cuba’s national hero José Martí, and the 58th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. January 28th marked the birth date of the Cuban legend considered a prophet by many, intellectual, and a hero, while January 1, 1959 was the end of the armed revolt led by Fidel Castro that resulted in the removal from office of Cuban Dictator Fulgencio Batista.
“His work lives on, just as the revolution continues,” said Master of Ceremonies Marlene Alexander referring to José Martí, then moving on to Fidel Castro and the Cuban people, whom “we in the Caribbean will always be truly grateful for.”
Alexander’s remarks made way for that of the Cuban Ambassador to Saint Lucia, Jorge Francisco Soberon Luis, who paid tribute to Cuba’s remembered revolutionaries. Speaking of José Martí, the ambassador said: “He taught us to turn loss to victory and have an infinite confidence in ourselves.”
As part of the proceedings a video was shown depicting the life of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who passed away on November 25 last year. The more emotional in the audience were brought to tears as they watched the video.
Acknowledging that there were many challenges, and much work still to be done, the Cuban ambassador revealed that his country continued to work toward a normalization of relations with the United States. He believes Cuba and the United States could cooperate and coexist. He also wished Cuba’s relations with Saint Lucia will continue to grow. He gave the assurance that “Saint Lucia can continue to count on the full support and friendship of Cuba.”
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet then reflected on the state of international affairs today. “What they were fighting for still exists now,” he said. “The way we can best pay tribute is to continue the revolution.”
Despite fifty-five years of fighting a U.S. embargo, the prime minister observed, Cuba continued to assist Saint Lucia and other deprived countries around the world. Chastanet also took time to express disapproval of recent remarks by President Trump with regard to Mexico.
“I am not happy about that,” he said, “and I know the world is not happy about the comments by the new U.S. administration. I, for one, have tremendous admiration for what Mexico has achieved while keeping its own identify. Like Cuba, Mexico reached out to the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Chastanet assured all present, “Saint Lucia stands always ready to support Cuba.”