The University of the West Indies (The UWI) celebrates Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves who received international recognition for his leadership and influence.
On May 26, Prime Minister Gonsalves was conferred the Order of José Martí by President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel.
The date marked the thirtieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Cuba.
The award is named after José Martí, a former nationalist, poet, philosopher, essayist, journalist, translator, professor, and publisher, who is considered a Cuban national hero because of his role in the liberation of his country from Spain.
The Order of José Martí is the country’s highest national award.
Prime Minister Gonsalves has been a firm activist for the inclusion of Cuba in hemispheric forums.
Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI stated, “It is an honour that is well deserved to our distinguished alumnus, Prime Minister Gonsalves.
The UWI applauds his unyielding efforts to promote Caribbean unity and persistence in nurturing strong relations within Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as his commitment to being a loyal ally to our Cuban neighbours.”
The UWI also congratulated Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley who was lauded by the global media brand, Time on its TIME100: The Most Influential People of 2022 list.
The publication annually recognises the world’s pioneers, leaders, titans, innovators, and icons.
To celebrate this year’s laureates, Time published five worldwide covers in May, each highlighting a member of the TIME100, and Prime Minister Mottley was selected for the cover representing influential leaders.
Offering congratulations on behalf of the regional university, Vice-Chancellor Beckles noted that “The region salutes Prime Minister Mottley’s advocacy on climate change and the clarion call she has sounded, urging world leaders to do more to limit the potential catastrophic impacts for the Caribbean.
He said her service as Chair of the World Bank and on the International Monetary Fund’s Development Committee has also left an indelible impact and we continue to be in awe of her leadership and charisma.