Barbados’ diplomatic relationship with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which has spanned greater than half a century, was celebrated on Friday evening with a cultural event.
Held on the Daphne Joseph Hackett Theatre in Queen’s Park, the 53rd commemorative event was attended by Minister of State in Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands; Special Advisor for Culture and Heritage within the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator John King; and Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, David Comissiong.
It also featured performances by Cultural Ambassador, Dr Anthony “Gabby” Carter; the S-T-N Drummers Group; Dancing Africa and the IVCC Cuatro Group.
In her remarks, Minister Husbands identified that Venezuela was the fourth country, globally, and the primary country in Latin America, to ascertain a resident embassy in Barbados and described the connection between the 2 countries over time as being a “longstanding, friendly and fruitful” one.
She noted that one of the crucial significant milestones achieved throughout the 53 years of diplomatic relations has been the establishment of the Venezuelan Institute of Culture and Cooperation, which, on September 7, 2022, celebrated 44 years of operation in Barbados. To this point, the institute has taught over 10,000 Barbadians Spanish, in addition to Venezuelan culture.
“I applaud the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for its continued commitment to sharing the Spanish language with the people of Barbados.
“Language is the medium through which the story of 1’s culture is transmitted, and it is thru the acquisition of the Spanish language, by every Barbadian, that our two countries will achieve mutual understanding, and deepen our bonds of friendship,” the Minister stated.
She stressed that Barbados has at all times strived to develop and construct meaningful bilateral relationships internationally, especially with its neighbours, and now, greater than ever, was the time “to strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation” because the country sought to recuperate from the COVID-19 pandemic, confront the worsening effects of climate change, cope with inflationary pressures, rising oil and gas prices, and increasing food insecurity.
The Minister gave the reassurance that Barbados would proceed its friendship with Venezuela and prolonged best wishes for the continued well-being of its people.
Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Martha Ortega Peraza, stated that her country would proceed to work with Barbados to further strengthen the bonds of friendship and brotherhood that they shared.
“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela celebrates this milestone between our countries, vowing to stay firm within the strengthening of South-South relations, solidarity and integration with a view to the effective implementation of a multipolar world,” she affirmed.
In the course of the evening’s proceedings, a moment of silence was observed for the lifetime of the late Robert “Bobby” Clarke, who was said to be a staunch supporter and comrade of the country of Venezuela.
Barbados established diplomatic relations with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on September 25, 1969. (BGIS)