Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, attended an official welcoming ceremony at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana, Cuba, on January 27, where she introduced members of her delegation to Cuban President, Raul Castro.
Mrs. Simpson Miller arrived in the Spanish-speaking country on January 26 for a four-day Official Visit. She is slated to participate in talks on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues with the Cuban leader.
She is accompanied on the trip by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson; Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Onika Miller; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Paul Robotham; Under Secretary, Bilateral and Regional Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Joy Wheeler; Director of Operations, Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (PMSU), Dr. Deborah Hickling; Executive Assistant, Liaison, Jamaica-Cuba Friendship Association, Pamela Redwood; and members of her security detail.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister participated in the opening ceremony and special tour of the first phase of the newly constructed economic zone at the port of Mariel.
Other Heads of State and Government attending the ceremony included: President Castro; President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Most Excellent Dilma Rousseff; President of Veneuelza, Nicholas Maduro; President of Bolivia, Evo Morales; and Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Ralph Gonsalves.
The Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM) is funded in part by the Brazilian Government and is regarded as a mega project, geared at boosting capital inflows into the island.
The port is located 50 kilometres west of capital Havana and will serve as an attraction for foreign investments, and an experimentation field for modern technologies and managerial experiences.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker