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Cuba Will Attend Caribbean Security Conference For The First Time Ever

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         Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly

MIAMI — A U.S. military official says Cuba will attend an annual Caribbean security conference for the first time in another sign of normal relations between the long-hostile nations.

Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly says Cuba has accepted an invitation to send a delegation to the Caribbean Nations Security Conference.

The three-day event co-hosted by U.S. Southern Command will be this month in Jamaica. Most countries in the region usually take part with the exception of Cuba and Venezuela. The conference focuses on co-operation against drug trafficking and other crime.

Cuba was invited due to the agreement establishing normal relations with the U.S. Kelly portrayed it as a significant development Tuesday in an interview marking the end of his leadership of Southern Command. The Cuban government had no immediate comment.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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