ST JOHN’S, Antigua — Cuban President Raul Castro was in Antigua and Barbuda on an official visit to attend the sixth Cuba-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit Friday (Dec. 8) and a meeting of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Saturday (Dec.9).

Friday’s CARICOM-Cuba summit was co-chaired by Castro and the chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell of Grenada.

The meeting marked 45 years of diplomatic relations between CARICOM and Cuba, and will examine issues of regional and global importance including climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and Cuba’s Agency for Civil Defence, which will provide opportunities for closer collaboration, especially following the devastating impact of the September 2017 hurricanes across the region, and the increased focus on climate change resilience.

During his visit, Castro will also attend a session of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Assembly, which is being held in Antigua Saturday for only its third such gathering since its inauguration in 2012.

The OECS Assembly comprises five representatives from the Parliament of each full member state and three from the legislature of each associated member. These representatives must include the head of government and the leader of the opposition.

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