Cuban President Raul Castro Ruiz has arrived in Antigua and Barbuda ahead of the IV Caricom-Cuba Summit set to begin Friday, Dec. 8.
The head of state was met by a delegation from the military at V.C. Bird International Airport to the sound of the national anthem before being escorted to the Carlisle Bay Resort where Friday’s international meeting will be held.
Caribbean Community Chairman and Grenadian Prime Minister Keith Mitchell will lead the international summit as other Caribbean heads of state arrive.
According to media sources, the meeting will discuss a number of topics of both regional and global importance, particularly climate change and disaster-risk management. The group will also explore other options for business and development to promote relations and integration between the member states.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and Cuba's Agency for Civil Defense will also sign an agreement, promising cooperation and support following natural disasters.
Caribbean leaders will also debate “effective and immediate cooperation mechanisms” to respond to natural disasters.
The tri-annual summit "will be a space for exchange and consultation in a frank and friendly environment, characterized by the brotherhood that exists between the peoples of the countries of the Caribbean Community and Cuba," Cuba's Foreign Ministry reported.
During his visit to the Caribbean island, the 86-year-old Cuban president will also participate in bilateral discussions with Antigua’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne and his cabinet ministers as well as Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda Rodney Williams.
Before leaving for home, the president will sit in on the third meeting of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Assembly on Saturday in Parliament.