Minister of Culture pays official visit to Cuba
THE STRENGTHENING of bilateral co-operation between Barbados and Cuba in the areas of culture and sports has moved a step further, thanks to an official visit to that country by Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley.
Lashley left the island on Sunday, March 22, for a seven-day visit to Cuba to meet with his ministerial counterparts and other officials to discuss areas of mutual interest.
On Monday, March 23, the Minister paid a visit to Manuel Fajardo University of Physical Education Science and Sport, and held talks with deputy director of postgraduate training, Dr Aldo Pérez Sánchez.
During the meeting, it was noted that all of Cuba’s Olympic, Central American and Pan American Games medallists had attended that University, which, though the leading institution of its kind in the Americas, was seeking international ranking.
Another area discussed was the University’s training programmes, in particular those for high performance athletes. On this subject, Lashley agreed with Dr Sánchez that it was important for any agreement between Barbados and Cuba in sports cooperation to reflect the increasing emphases on the application of science and technology to the development of sports education and training.
Lashley is also expected to visit a gymnasium in downtown Havana, known as the “Martyrs of Barbados”, and an anti-doping centre. In addition, he is slated to sign a new coaching agreement between the Government of Barbados and the Government of the Republic of Cuba.
The Minister is accompanied on his visit by Permanent Secretary, Ruth Blackman; sports development officer, Stephen Rowe; and head of the Barbados Cultural Industries Development Authority, Andrea King. Chargé d’affaires at Barbados’ Embassy in Cuba, Donna Forde, is also part of the delegation. (MFA&FT/BGIS)