By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
QUITO, Ecuador -- The Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration, Ricardo Patiño, from Monday July 16, to Friday, July 20, will have several meetings in Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and Guyana to strengthen bilateral cooperation, according to a press release from his office in Quito.
“While in Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and Guyana, he will establish closer relations with the authorities to diversify the foreign policy of Ecuador and he will also maintain a close dialogue on regional integration,” the release said.
He will also promote trade in those countries.
Patiño and a twelve-person delegation were due to begin an official visit to Suriname on Tuesday.
In Suriname, there will be discussions at various levels, mainly in the field of regional integration and multilateral relationships including climate change, and democracy within the United Nations Security Council, Star Niews reported.
According to Star Niews, the two countries will negotiate cooperation in the education field and teachers and students from both countries will be involved. There will also be in depth discussion to promote trade between both countries, abolition of visas for holders of diplomatic passports and cultural exchanges.
Relationships between Ecuador and its Caribbean neighbours are at an all time high due to the leftist government of President, Raphael Correa. South America, once ruled by mostly staunch white Catholics, in the past 15 years has seen the rise of indigenous and mulatto leftist power from Venezuela to Argentina. This has led to more interest in the region.
On Wednesday, the Ecuadorian delegation leaves for neighbouring Guyana.