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Caribbean Nations Huddle in Havana on Migration, Trade


Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, right, talks with journalists after the opening ceremony of the XXII Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the the Association of Caribbean States at the Havana Libre Hotel in Havana, Cuba, March 10, 2017

Foreign ministers and other officials from 25 Caribbean countries met in Havana on Friday to discuss a joint response in the face of Trump administration threats to migrants and trade.

Opening remarks at the closed-door event, attended by representatives from Colombia, Mexico, Cuba and other countries in Central America and the Caribbean islands, made clear the new U.S. administration and key economic partner was uppermost on the agenda, though the name "Trump" was never uttered.

Foreign ministers pose for the official photo after the opening ceremony of the XXII Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the the Association of Caribbean States at the Havana Libre Hotel in Havana, Cuba, March 10, 2017.
Foreign ministers pose for the official photo after the opening ceremony of the XXII Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the the Association of Caribbean States at the Havana Libre Hotel in Havana, Cuba, March 10, 2017.

"We are meeting at an exceptional historic moment when there are geographic changes on the global scene and we have to be prepared," said June Soomer, from Saint Lucia and secretary general of the Association of Caribbean States.

"We are not going to resign ourselves to what others in the world dictate. We are not a mediocre region, we are one of excellence and peace," Sooner added.

Cuban President Raul Castro also attended the meeting.

His foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, lit into U.S. President Donald Trump's policies in his opening remarks and said the organization should come up with a joint response, as they threaten the development models of local economies.

"The excluding and repressive migration policies announced by countries of destination... as well as the implementation of extremely protectionist trade measures, are real challenges for our sub region," he said.

"In the face of the walls intended to be built, our choice should continue to be unity, solidarity and cooperation to defend the most legitimate interests of our peoples," he said.

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