Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sen. Maxine McClean????

The announcement by this country???s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sen. Maxine McClean, that there will be a Barbados Embassy in Cuba by September 1, this year, was met by resounding applause from more than 60 Cubans of Barbadian descent on Tuesday evening in Havana.

Speaking during a reception hosted by the Cuban/Caribbean Association for Prime Minister David Thompson and the Barbados delegation, Senator McClean told those in attendance that the opening of the Embassy would assist those individuals seeking to renew passports and ascertain information about their relatives in Barbados.

Noting that it was long overdue, the Minister added that this would strengthen and solidify relations between the two countries.In his address, the Prime Minister told the audience that he made the request to meet with them because they ???are an important part of the Barbadian diaspora??? and that they ???have a role to play in attaining the national goals???.??

He thanked them for keeping the Barbados flag flying high and maintaining their Barbadian heritage and lauded the outstanding contributions they were making as citizens in Cuba.The Prime Minister introduced members of the delegation which included representatives from the private sector: Sandra Payne from Invest Barbados; Alison Saunders-Franklyn of the Barbados Film Association; and Ronnie Morris of Barbados Music Awards.

Noting that this was an important opportunity to interact, Mr. Thompson said that he would seek to ensure that when Barbadian Ministers came to Cuba they would find the time to visit with them.

President of the Cuba/Caribbean Association, Maria Rollock, whose family roots are in St. Lucy, said her body was honoured to have the Prime Minister and his delegation visit and the members were looking forward to the opening of the Embassy in September.

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