Sir Hilary: Cubans are quintessential Caribbean

Speaking at the Vice Chancellor Forum Monday at the UWI Regional Headquarters, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica Sir Hilary said, notwithstanding how the governance model or how the restructuring of governance will take place in the next five to ten years he said, Cubans “through their consciousness and their human resource development are prepared for this 21st century.” He continued, “when we conduct that analysis I think we will find that looking into the future of small island developing states preparing for this global moment in human history, we will find that the Cuban people are arguably the most prepared Caribbean peoples for this 21st century.” There was no doubt that developments in medicine, education and other fields that took place in Cuba while facing an economic embargo, he said, was a time cruncher, a revolution.

“You move a people forward 50 years in ten years. You move them forward 100 years in 20 years,” he said, has prepared the Cuban citizenry for going forward.

Describing the late Cuban leader as a “Caribbean leader” and a “Caribbean icon”, he said, Castro and the Cuban revolution is a Caribbean story from the very beginning and a Caribbean revolution that is rooted in the logic of Caribbean history.” He said Castro “was, is and will be quintessentially a Caribbean person”, that “Cuba and Castro is a Caribbean story,” and the Cuban revolution is “quintessentially Caribbean”. Historian and Trinidad and Tobago’s first Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams, he said, “was quite correct” when he wrote in his book on the history of the Caribbean to frame it in the context from Toussaint Louverture to Castro and to make the point that the Caribbean revolution was a long one.

Williams, he said, bookmarked that Toussaint was the beginning of what he called “Caribbean enlightenment” that was carried through to Castro. The Caribbean enlightenment,” he said, was the counter revolution to the “western enlightenment” that produced slavery in the 16th 17th centuries that manifested itself in colonialism, racism and other issues. The Caribbean, he said, was a contested space in which the territories were colonised but the peoples in the islands were


"Sir Hilary: Cubans are quintessential Caribbean"

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