TIMELINE: GRENADA –CUBA RELATION
St.George’s Grenada 31st Dec 2008– To many, little is know about Grenada ‘s-Cuba’s relationship except the obvious what was heard or said during the so called revolutionary days. Yet ,Cuba and Grenada was “sleeping” with each other long before. The Cuban and the Grenadian peoples “knew” each other and had created bonds from long time ago. During the first decades of the 20th century a number of Grenadian citizens traveled to Cuba to find jobs, in particular in the area of the sugar cane industry. Some of them married to Cuban women and founded families.
With the advent of what is called the Grenada Revolution, Grenada and Cuba established diplomatic relations on 14th. April, 1979.Ofcourse the political head of the two countries at the time were Maurice Bishop and Fidel Castro respectively.Between 1980 and 1983, Prime Minister Maurice Bishop paid five working/transit visits to Cuba. A number of delegations from both countries were exchanged.
Immediate after the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, and in accordance with the agreements reached, Cuba started to provide cooperation assistance to Grenada in different fields, among others in education, health, culture, roads, fishing, housing, communications, construction, and sports. Grenadian students received scholarships to study in the Cuban universities and other centers of high education, while Cuban specialists were in Grenada providing their expertise and training Grenadian in various fields.
One of the most important areas of cooperation was the construction of the new international airport in Point Saline, a crucial facility for the economic and social development of Grenada.
Due to the events of 25th. October 1983, twenty-four Cuban construction workers lost their lives fighting the U.S. military who attacked them. While the bilateral relations were not severed, the Cuban Embassy was requested to be closed, and all the bilateral cooperation ceased. Nevertheless the Grenadian students who ere studying in Cuba continued their studies.
In March, 1992 the bilateral relations between the two countries were normalized. In April 1994 Cuba appointed a non resident Ambassador to Grenada, based in Barbados.
In April 1997 the Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada paid an official visit to Cuba, being the first Prime Minister of the Caribbean in visiting Cuba. During his stay, important agreements were signed, in particular the Agreement on economic and scientific-technical bilateral cooperation. From 1997 up today a number of Cuban people had been working in Grenada in cooperation activities in different areas like education, health, sport, culture, construction, housing, and agriculture.
In August 1998, President of Cuba, Dr. Fidel Castro paid an official visit to Grenada. Resulting from the talks between the two leaders, an agreement was reached regarding the assistance from Cuba in the construction/refurbishment of the General Hospital of St. George’s, which included the training of the necessary human resources for the different services of the New Hospital.
In March 1999 the Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada paid a second official visit to Cuba. He visited Cuba also in the year 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006 on the occasion of regional or international meetings. On 1st. December 1999, Grenada and Cuba simultaneously opened Embassies in each country at the level of Charge d’ Affairs, and in the last quarter of 2002 both countries upgraded their diplomatic representation with resident Ambassadors.
In September 2006 the Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada headed the delegation of Grenada in The XIVth Summit of the Movement of Not aligned Countries held in Havana, Cuba. There are around two hundred Grenadian graduated in Cuban universities and other centers of high education. Cuba had continued to grant scholarship to Grenadian students and around one hundred Grenadians are currently studying in Cuba. Source: Bilateral Agreements and Spicewriter. Photo Courtesy: