When, for example, Adonson Shallow went to Cuba to prepare for the Commonwealth Games in 2006, it was the national Olympic Committee here that paid his full bill of expenses and it was in thousands of euros. There was nothing free.
Attempts at getting the sports protocol activated proved futile. The Ambassador, Dexter Rose, could only have followed up if there was action originating from our government in respect of engaging sports assistance for Vincentian athletes. This was not done and therefore nothing ever happened.
The Boxing Association here has made appeals to the governmental authorities, including written requests, for them to pursue training assistance in the form of coaches from Cuba and is yet to receive a response. In light of this fact however one wonders why the Minister would have engaged in the API discourse in respect of the sport of Boxing.
The ULP administration came to office in 2001. We are several years later and the administration had done nothing, absolutely nothing, to facilitate the forging of closer ties between our two countries in the realm of sport.
In contrast, even before Chavez came to office there were countless Cuban coaches in Venezuela. The number has increased significantly since his assumption of the Presidency of the Bolivarian Republic.
Cuban coaches are literally everywhere in Central America and the Caribbean. They have been in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda.
Our Prime Minister who seems to claim close friendship with the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, has apparently not seen it sufficiently opportune to engage the Cuban leadership in supporting sport and this, despite requests from some of our sport leaders.