The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados wishes to inform that the Government of Barbados and the Government of the Republic of Cuba have reached a successful conclusion in the negotiations to have Mr. Raul Garcia Castilla repatriated to Cuba.

These negotiations have been ongoing since the Barbados Foreign Ministry wrote to the Cuban Embassy on October 15, 2012, requesting assistance with Mr. Garcia???s return to Cuba. On December 12, the Cuban Foreign Ministry replied that he did not qualify for repatriation to Cuba under its laws.

On January 14, 2013, a new Immigration regime took effect in Cuba, with significant changes in the categories of persons eligible for repatriation. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, wrote her Cuban counterpart, H.E Mr. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, on February 12, again requesting that Mr. Garcia be accepted, in light of the immigration amendments.

Regular follow-up discussions between the Foreign Ministry and the Cuban Embassy finally resulted in a bilateral meeting between the two Foreign Ministers on Friday, September 6, in Grenada, in which the matter was resolved and a process outlined for the repatriation of Mr. Garcia.

The Ministry wishes to express appreciation to the Government of Cuba for the successful resolution of this matter achieved through sustained diplomatic action between Barbados and Cuba, as befits two countries which enjoy long-standing and cordial relations.

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