It is no secret that the fortunes of our small nation rests in the hands of bigger and more wealthy nations. We dare not forget that the small size of our islands and the lack of mineral resources place us in a position where we have to depend on the generosity of our rich friends in the world.

Traditionally, we have relied on Great Britain, our former colonial ruler, to come to our aid either unilaterally or in concert with our rich northern neighbours, the United States and Canada.

As time marches on, however, and the aspirations of our people rise with modern culture, it is necessary to cast our buckets into a deeper pool of generosity in our time of need. It is good to know that there is indeed such a pool and that we are discovering various sources of help other than the United States, Britain and Canada.

We welcome both Cuba and Taiwan into our catchment of foreign aid.

We applaud the Revolutionary Government of Cuba for the priceless assistance which that country offers us in the development of our human resources.

We refer of course to the program of higher education which Cuba has been providing for our islands over the past decade. In this time Cuba has trained many young engineers, doctors, agro-scientists, psychologists, economists and accountants. This generous nation is constantly finding new areas of training such as nursing to provide our country with the social infrastructure necessary to assure our progress.

This input into our training needs is the foundation of a social revolution in our islands. As these Cuban-trained professionals take over the leadership of our country at all levels, their minds and attitudes will be conditioned by their Cuban training to serve humanity beyond material rewards.

This paper praises the Government of Cuba for its great generosity in the free treatment of hundreds of our people who suffer from eye diseases.

The extended helping hand of Cuba is particularly noteworthy, because that country has had to survive the sustained assault of the United States which was meant to cripple the island and have its leaders creeping back to feed from the hands of Uncle Sam.

The People’s Republic of China on Taiwan is also deserving of our deepest gratitude. Ever since our islands developed friendly relations with this nation more than two decades ago, the Government of Taiwan has been unstinting in its generosity to our small nation.

Like Cuba, Taiwan has emerged from adversity and hostility to become a proud nation ready and willing to help less fortunate nations in the Caribbean in several important areas of our nation building. They have generously donated training for our citizens, beautiful buildings for our infrastructure, and onsite experiments in agriculture which have contributed to our vibrant agricultural sector.

St. Kitts and Nevis is proud to count Cuba and Taiwan as our friends to whom we can turn for help.

We applaud both nations and wish their leaders long life and the loyal support of their citizens.