Barbados has officially opened a new consulate in the republic of Cuba.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, celebrated the inauguration of the Embassy of Barbados in Havana on September 16.

In her address to mark the occasion, Minister McClean said: "What we are witnessing here today is best seen within the context of a journey that began in 1972, when four visionary Caribbean leaders, President Forbes Burnham of Guyana and Prime Ministers Michael Manley of Jamaica, Dr. Eric Williams of Trinidad and Tobago and Errol Barrow of Barbados, took the bold step to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba.

The opening of the Embassy in Cuba comes just over a year after Prime Minister David Thompson, during an official visit to that country in 2009, made the announcement of Barbados' intent to establish a diplomatic presence in Cuba.

The Embassy will be instrumental in the establishment of business contacts and the identification of emerging opportunities within Cuba for Barbados' services, trade and commercial sectors. The increasing consular needs of the growing number of Barbadian students in Cuba all provide strong rationale for the establishment of a resident Embassy in Cuba.

A plaque revealed at the embassy states the following:

En conmemoracion de la inauguracion de la sede de la embajada de Barbados en Cuba por su Excelencia Maxine McClean. Canciller de Barbados en Presencia de su Excelencia Bruno Rodriguez Parilla. Canciller de la Republic de Cuba

La Habana - 16 de Septiembre 2010