Cuba absent from Americas defence ministers meeting
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 | 9:15 AM
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC) – Trinidad and Tobago and the United
States have expressed disappointment that Cuba is not being represented
at the 12th conference of the Defence Ministers of the Americas (CDMA)
that ends here today.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, addressing the
formal opening of the meeting on Tuesday said he was "disappointed' that
Havana was not being represented at the conference in which he called
for the deliberations to go beyond the traditional defence roles.
"Cuba is a part of the Caribbean, Cuba is a part of the hemisphere and
if we say that geography, language, political system and social standing
do not divide us then Cuba should be here," Rowley said in a departure
from his prepared text.
United States Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter later told reporters
that Washington was also disappointed at Cuba's non-participation at the
"I agree, I regret it. I think they made a mistake, "he said, adding
that "we are in favour of including Cuba".
He said he believed "Cuba missed an opportunity by not being here…so I
second what my hosts had to say".
The conference is being attended by an unprecedented number of ministers
of defence and delegates from the 34 nations and while this is the
12th biennial conference of defence ministers since its inception in
1995, Trinidad and Tobago is the first Caribbean country to host this event.
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