Guyana – Cuba Scholars welcome government care packages

MOTP-DPS LogoPress Release

Department of Public Service,  Ministry of the Presidency – Saturday, May 23, 2020

Guyanese students on scholarship in Cuba earlier today thanked the government and people of Guyana for their demonstration of care through, the scores of relief packages sent to them to mitigate the difficulties encountered since the onset of COVID 19 on the island.

Additionally, the scholars commended the Minister of Public Service Hon. Tabitha Sarabo-Halley for honouring a commitment made to them after having been briefed about their concerns surrounding the Cuba situation.

“The decision to render us aid was expressed by the minister and executed. I acknowledge your commitment and conviction to ensure our welfare. This assistance comes at a most crucial time when COVID 19 has created many challenges,” one student wrote.

The Government of Guyana through the Department of Public Service, Ministry of the Presidency recently chartered a Caribbean Airlines flight, costing US $48,000 (over GYD$10M) to take relief and personal care supplies, valued over $4M, to scholars in Cuba.

The total packages sent to Cuba were 88 in number. Of these 88 packages, 69 were sent Government of Guyana Scholars, 6 were sent to self-financed students in Cuba, 1 to the department’s Student Affairs Officer and another to a student. The 77 packages weighed approximately 85lbs each.

The other ten packages sent were received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which requested to have them sent to their staff in Cuba, four boxers who are currently stranded in Cuba and Mrs. Rukhmin Chand, the wife of Mr. Komal Chand.

According to messages sent directly to the Minister Sarabo-Halley, Permanent Secretary Soyinka Grogan and Scholarship division the scholars expressed, “special thanks to the Government of Guyana.”

Following a News Room publication entitled ” More Guyanese students in Cuba say their plight is being ignored “on May 8, the Ministry had reiterated its commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of the Guyanese Scholars in Cuba. It had also chided the News Room for attempting to cause embarrassment to the governments of Cuba and Guyana, which have shared excellent diplomatic relations for decades.