PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen recently met with the resident Ambassador from Cuba Fermin Gabriel Quinones at the Sint Maarten House in The Hague, the Netherlands, where they discussed Cuba’s revival and new relations with the United States.
On January 22 at a New Year’s reception hosted by the Ambassador in The Hague, Minister Fleming-Artsen briefly met with Ambassador Quinones, and at that time it was decided to have a follow-up meeting which took place on May 19.
The Ambassador is also Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
On December 17, 2014, Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced that the United States and Cuba would restore diplomatic relations, which were severed in 1961. For more than 50-years the United States has had an economic embargo on Cuba.
“He is very excited about the developments taking place in Cuba, and he wants to build relations in many areas, from transportation at sea and air, to education, health care, economic development etc. Ambassador Quinones is looking for exchange programs between countries that are mutually beneficial to both parties.
“The Ambassador is looking forward to meeting Sint Maarten officials in Cuba where relations and partnerships for development can be further explored and developed. Cuba will be having a Tourism Fair on November 15, and is hoping that Sint Maarten will have representation.
“I asked him if Cuba was ready to receive the world, and the Ambassador responded that they have been waiting for twenty years, but that nothing happens before its time,” Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen said on Thursday.
PHOTO CUTLINE: L to R, Cuban Ambassador Fermin G. Quinones and Minister Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen. Photo by Nico van der Ven