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CARICOM heads to focus on regional travel

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CARICOM heads to focus on regional travel

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PORT OF SPAIN,Trinidad, June 30, CMC – The challenges of regional travel will be placed on the front burner at the upcoming meeting of heads of Government from across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The Caricom meeting, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, will be held in Port of Spain July 4-6.
In the aftermath of a Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in May, several recommendations were made and these will be discussed at the 34th Caricom Heads of Government Conference.
According to Caricom, the Ministers will recommend the reintroduction of the Single Domestic Space (SDS) that was established for Cricket World Cup in 2007, as one of the measures to provide some relief to those traversing the Community.
Among the features of the SDS that involved the participation of ten CARICOM Member States were freedom of movement for all domestic travelers and a Special Visa stamped at the first port of entry for travelers from outside the Region to allow hassle free movement among the participating SDS states.
COTED also agreed to recommend to the Heads of Government that they support the proposed LIAT application to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for the required financing to meet the costs of its re-fleeting exercise.
“I think that we have to try and find a solution to the transportation problems that are plaguing us in the Community, not only in terms of inter-regional travel, but sometimes through the Region. Our tourism depends on it, our trade and services…depend on transportation so we have to find solutions to our issues,” said CARICOM Secretary-General, Irwin LaRocque .
At this upcoming conference, the Caricom Heads will  welcome Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as well as Danilo Medina, President of the Dominican Republic and Teodoro Obiang Nguema, President of Equatorial Guinea.
“President Maduro’s visit is important in the context of the region’s relations with Venezuela–an important player in hemispheric affairs,” said a statement from Trinidad’s acting Communications Minister Anil Roberts.
Maduro is to visit on July 6, one day after Venezuela celebrates Independence Day. The Venezuelan Declaration of Independence was signed on July 5, 1811.
Among the speakers at the opening of the conference on July 3rd is Michel Martelly, President of the Republic of Haiti. On July 4th, there will be a re-enactment of the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas .