(ZIZ News) – The strength of the relationship between the Governments of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was made evident on Wednesday when Nicolas Maduro Moros arrived in St. Kitts for the first time.
Wednesday’s welcome ceremony and Guard of Honour was held at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport and was broadcast live on ZIZ Radio and Television and streamed on the World Wide Web.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris was backed by the support of his Cabinet which included Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Mark Brantley, other senior government officials, the country’s armed units of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force and its Band, and the Coast Guard.
In officially welcoming President Maduro, Prime Minister Harris said the visit highlighted a major strategic approach of his government’s foreign policy outlook of boosting relations with friends, while forging new partnerships.
“Since the early 1980s, St. Kitts-Nevis and Venezuela established diplomatic relationships and since way back then, the relationship has strengthened,” the Prime Minister said, adding “We have seen for example, the establishment of the Venezuelan Institute, which provides training in Spanish and in Spanish culture here in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Dr. Harris listed a number of ways in which St. Kitts and Nevis had benefited from its partnership with the Bolivarian Republic. He said his administration, and the country by extension, would be eternally grateful.
He continued, “Mr. President, although your visit will be short, I trust that the hospitality, the warmth and love of our people and the appreciation of my Government for your tangible and substantial assistance to our development will long permeate the atmosphere and that you will have no choice but to utter ‘Oh I must return, Oh I long to return to Sugar City St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Originally, President Maduro was scheduled to visit St. Kitts late Friday night and be among the special guests at the Independence Ceremonial Parade on Saturday 19th.
It is no secret that President Maduro’s Government secured EC$16 million, on behalf of the Government here, to ensure that former employees of the St. Kitts Sugar Manufacturing Corporation received a gratuitous payment that was promised by Team Unity during the most recent election campaign.
President Maduro’s response to Dr. Harris’ welcome proved one thing, that the relationship between both countries is strong.
He, through a language translator, explained the reason for his visit.
“Dear brother Timothy Harris, we have come here with the decision and interest to strengthen even further the length and the bonds of our friendship and solidarity and sister and brotherhood between our nations,” the Venezuelan leader stated.
President Maduro said the relationship between both countries should serve as an example to other Caribbean islands that great things can come through partnership.
“Dear Timothy Harris, when I come here, I have to tell you that I feel truly at home and when I look you into the eye, I see true brothers and sisters and that’s what we want with the rest of the Caribbean, to be like brothers and sisters, to build a relation promise to all cooperation, unity and true independence. That’s why under this beautiful sun, this beautiful morning of the 23rd of September, I say thank you for this welcome brothers and sisters and it’s like this that we will continue,” he explained.
President Maduro brought with him a mammoth team, from media personnel to other high level officials.