St. Kitts to explore establishing embassy in Cuba

The Government is exploring the possibility of establishing an embassy in Cuba next year in an effort to strengthen the existing relationship between both Caribbean nations.

Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas gave the commitment during a courtesy call by Hugo Ruiz Cabrera, who assumed the post of Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, following the departure of Jorge D. Payret Zubiaur, ambassador of Cuba to the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

According to a Government statement, Douglas and the new Cuban diplomat also discussed several areas of cooperation of a bi-lateral nature in education, health and agriculture.

Currently, about 40 St. Kitts and Nevis students are pursuing degrees in Cuba, the majority being in medicine.

The statement said that since 1998, “Cuba has been maintaining a medical brigade through a steady deployment of medical practitioners in a variety of areas,” such as gynecology, pediatrics, ophthalmology and pathology.

Ruiz’s most recent posting abroad spanned 2005-2010 in St. Lucia, where he oversaw the Misión Milagro Programme, the Comprehensive Health Programme, the Energy Saving Light Bulb Project, the introduction of the Nursing Scholarship Programme, as well as the establishment of the Ophthalmology Clinic at the Victoria Hospital.