Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, received the Order of José Marti from the Government of the Republic of Cuba on Tuesday, April 26.
The Order of José Marti is Cuba’s highest state recognition given to nationals, and Heads of States and Governments, who have distinguished records in the defense of human rights and have made special contributions to education, culture, governance, and well-being of all peoples.
The award is named for José Marti, a poet and writer lauded as a nationalist, philosopher, activist, and humanitarian. He is known as the ‘Apostle of Cuban Independence.’
The ceremony commenced at 6:30 p.m. at Revolution Square in Cuba, with the laying of wreaths ceremony at the Monument of José Martí. José Martí was a renowned national hero of the Republic of Cuba. The Order was established in 1972 and a memorial was built in 1978 with the support of former President Fidel Castro.
It is the highest decoration given by the Government of Cuba to Cubans and foreign citizens; and to Heads of States and Governments, who have distinguished records in the defense of human rights, special contributions to education, culture, governance, and the well-being of all peoples.
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel awarded the prestigious honour to the Dominican Prime Minister during a ceremony in Havana The ceremony was attended by Bruno Rodriquez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, the Minister of Public Health and Cuba’s Ambassador to Dominica among others.
Further, Dominica’s delegation has comprised Fidel Grant, Minister of the Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security, Gregory Riviere, Minister of State in the Ministry of the Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security, Dr. Adis King, Minister of Youth Development and Empowerment, Youth at Risk, Gender Affairs, Seniors Security and Dominicans with Disabilities, Mrs. Barbara Dailey, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Foreign Affairs, International Business, and Diaspora Relations and Ambassador Mathew Walter, Dominica’s Ambassador to Cuba.
A growing list of world leaders has been recipients of the José Martí Award, including former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, who was awarded in 1991 and former Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, who was awarded in 1999.
This evening’s ceremony brought the curtains down on a three-day official visit to the Republic of Cuba by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. During that period, the Dominican leader held discussions with Dominican students in Cuba engaged the Cuban Environment Agency on matters of climate change and disaster preparedness; met with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Latin American School of Medicine; and toured the newly instituted Fidel Castro Centre.
Following this evening’s ceremony, the President of Cuba will host a formal dinner in honor of Prime Minister Skerrit to include bilateral talks to further Dominica – Cuba relations on various issues including technical support for agriculture, disaster mitigation, and healthcare.