News Releases

The UWI and University of Havana discuss Caribbean Challenges

For Release Upon Receipt - July 3, 2014

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies, Regional Headquarters, Jamaica: On June 24th and 25th, representatives of The University of West Indies (UWI) and the University of Havana, Cuba, met at the Institute of International Relations located at The UWI’s St Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago to discuss “Development challenges and possibilities for a deeper integration”. 

This first workshop on Contemporary Caribbean was coordinated by Professor Milagros Martínez, Chair of Caribbean Studies (Cátedra de Estudios del Caribe) at the University of Havana together with Dr. Mark Kirton of the Institute of International Relations. Participants debated major problems of the contemporary Caribbean, especially the challenges associated with Small Island Developing States and the regional integration recent dynamics. The cases of Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba were specifically examined. 

Attending from the University of Havana were Professors Antonio Romero Gómez, Milagros Martínez Reinosa and Carmen Castillo Herrera. The Institute of International Relations was represented by Drs Mark Kirton, Anthony Gonzales and Jacqueline Laguardia Martínez. Ruben Martoredjo, IIR doctoral student, and IIR alumnus Hugh Todd from the Guyana-based LIRDS Think Tank Group, which focusses on law, international relations, research, defence and security, presented papers. Cuban Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago H.E. Guillermo Vázquez Moreno, IIR’s Director Professor Andy Knight and Rear Admiral Gary Best from LIRDS Think Tank Group also participated in the two-day discussion.


About The Institute of International Relations (IIR)

The IIR is a well-established and reputable interdisciplinary think-tank of The University of the West Indies that combines theoretical research and publication with applied training and networking. It covers issues that are national, regional, hemispheric, trans-regional and global. The IIR reaches out to like-minded institutes, centres and think tanks across the Caribbean and the globe. Its Library houses a comprehensive collection of information resources on international relations, with a focus on material covering the Caribbean and Latin American region. The IIR provides a space for diplomatic dialogues, special seminars, cutting-edge research and high-quality peer-reviewed publications. Visit:   

About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with over 50,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Visit