reports PLP Leader Dr. Timothy Harris insults Cuba-educated students and Cuba leadership

Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 14th 2013 (CUOPM) – Remarks last week by former St. Kitts and Nevis Minister of Foreign Affairs about Cuba and Kittitians and Nevisians who have studied in Cuba has been regarded as an insult to their profession and the Cuban government.

NevisPages Wednesday reported that self-appointed leader of the Peoples Labour Party, Dr Timothy Harris launched an all out attack on the goodwill of the Republic of Cuba in remarks at a recent political meeting in which he implied that Kittitians and Nevisians who are educated in Cuba were also indoctrinated in Communism and are now trying to take over the country.

What did Dr. Harris said: “Wilson is a doctor trained in Communist Cuba. Who that? Doctor who? Vienna sausage is a doctor trained in Cuba. Well me ain’t want no Drew, me easy to catch cold we no want no Drew.

How come all of these people trained in Communist Cuba? All of them…they must be Pen Pal; Are you a pen pal. So all of you went to do medicine and all of you come back and want to take over we country and it is happening at a dangerous time when democracy is under threat.

Those who are trained in Communism are coming and they are saying all of us gone get involved in politics. Something not adding up, something fishy up de camp, something fishy but think about it; think about it.

When you are in ‘Castro land’ you do what Castro says. If Castro says eat potato you better eat potato. If say Castro say eat rice, you better eat the rice and no say the grains are hard. They understand dictatorship so I wouldn’t be surprised if they want to practice it.”

NevisPages noted that Dr. Harris singled out Dr. Vance Gilbert, Dr. Norgen Wilson and Dr. Terrence Drew, all named as candidates in the next general elections constitutionally due in 2015.

The public has expressed outrage at his comments, in particular those whose family members have benefited from the generosity of the Cuban Government and people and have called for a public apology.

A family member of a Cuban scholarship recipient said the leader of the PLP overlooked the benefits of a quality college education that has been afforded to citizens of St Kitts and Nevis from the Republic of Cuba.

Upon hearing the comments, Dr Gilbert said, it is unfortunate that such comments were made, but even more unfortunate that they were made by a former Foreign Minister. Dr Gilbert went on to further state, that his educational experience in Cuba, helped him to better understand what it is to be a true patriot, and really helped to awaken his desire to serve St Kitts and Nevis in every capacity upon his return.

Addressing the remarks made by Dr. Harris, Dr. Wilson said, he apologizes to the people of Cuba for the comments made by the former Minister, and stated that, Cuba has shared what they have with the people of the Federation through Education and Health Care. He went on to say, friends do not speak ill of friends, no matter the context. He said, Dr. Harris’ comments clearly shows he is not ready to lead.

A member of the Cuban Students Alumni Association also expressed disappointment with the remarks made by Dr. Harris and stated, “the comments display a level of insensitivity, ungratefulness and a disconnect of Dr. Harris with regards to the international relationship of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and its international partners.”

Over 100 persons from St. Kitts and Nevis have studied at Cuban Colleges and University in fields ranging from Accounting to Civil Engineering, Medicine and Dentistry. Some have specialized in areas such as Pharmacology, Radiology and Pathology.

Dr. Harris was a member of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party, a member of Cabinet for 18 years and served as a Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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