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Cuba-Caribbean Summit Expected to Strengthen Ties

Cuban President Fidel Castro and the leaders of Caribbean nations are meeting today in Barbados, at a session meant to strengthen relations between the communist island nation and its Caribbean neighbors.

The leaders are expected to discuss cooperation on health care issues, such as Cuba's offer of free eye operations to needy patients in the region. The Associated Press says it has a draft declaration prepared for the summit that includes language calling for an end to the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba.

Mr. Castro is also expected to lay a wreath at a memorial to victims of a Cubana Airlines flight that was bombed in 1976 as it took off from Barbados. The prime suspect in the bombing is Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban exile and former operative for the U.S. Central Intelligence Service.

Among the members of the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, attending the meeting are Jamaica, Barbados, Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.