Categorized | National News

Cuba/Bahamas Relations Sound, Says Cuban Envoy

Despite weeks of standoff between The Bahamas Government and a Miami-based Cuban advocacy group, a top Cuban diplomat insists there is “no big concern” with regard to relations between the two island nations.

In fact, Cuban Ambassador to The Bahamas, Ernesto Guzman said “right now, the two countries are in a very good moment in their bilateral relations.”

In the wake of claims that Cuban detainees had been abused at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, members of the Democracy Movement staged a series of protests in Miami, Florida, all in hoping of forcing the government’s hand to address the issue.

Some Cuban Americans even went as far as to discourage people from coming to The Bahamas.

But according to Ambassador Guzman, “those persons do not represent the point of view of the people of Cuban or the government Cuba.”

Last Monday, five marines – one petty officer, two leading seamen and two able seamen – were charged with causing harm or wound, bringing discredit to the force and failing to follow commands.

The government has since selected three independent observers – retired Justice Cheryl Albury, retired Commander Leon Smith and Bahamas Christian Council President Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson – to monitor the internal hearings of the five Defence Force officers.

It has not yet been revealed when the hearing will begin.

“We have not made any comment about this, but it does not mean we are not dealing with this issue. In my personal case, I have visited the detention centre eight times this year. This tells you that we have been dealing with this issue in a very serious matter and in a very direct manner,” Ambassador Guzman said yesterday while appearing as a guest on the Love 97/JCN weekly talk show, “Jones & Co.”

“But, this is a very sensitive matter and so in this case, we have a direct line of communication with the government, the ministry of foreign affairs, the department of immigration and anything we need to talk, we talk to them directly. We don’t need to go to them directly. And now that there is a process underway, we have to wait until this process is finished.”

Commenting on the broader issue of Cuban migration, the ambassador agreed that in some cases, Cubans are in The Bahamas “far too long” before they are repatriated.

The issue was addressed during a meeting last month. At the time, officials agreed that a repatriation process should be implemented “as soon as possible.”

“In the future, I don’t think this would be a problem. In fact, the last group repatriated to Cuba did not spend a long time at the detention centre…Sometimes, we have to confirm that these people actually came from Cuba,” Ambassador Guzman said.

On November 13, The Bahamas and Cuba will mark 39 years since establishing diplomatic ties.

“We have been working on different projects…This year, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary that the first group of Cuban teachers arrived in The Bahamas….” the ambassador said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook