J'cans could be trained aboard Brazilian ship
Future cooperation agreements between the governments of Jamaica and Brazil may include training on the latter country's navy ship, Brazil.
The vessel, carrying 200 midshipmen and other crew members, headed by Commanding Officer Captain Jose Canela, recently docked at Kingston Wharves as part of the 30th Midshipmen Training Cruise. It departed Jamaica on November 25 for the Cartagena port in Colombia.
Brazilian Ambassador to Jamaica Carlos den Hartog said that there might be a cooperation agreement involving the training ship.
He said the ship is seen by Brazilians as a "floating embassy" because of its mission and contact with people of friendly countries.
"It presents a different image of Brazil to most countries that would likely look at us as a country of football and carnival. I think it shows that we are organised, disciplined and we are serious on training people," Ambassador den Hartog said.
The ambassador said that a Defence Cooperation Agree-ment, signed between Jamaica and Brazil, would likely be enforced early next year.
"We signed it more than a year ago. This has to be enforced. We are still working on that, and I hope that we can put it in place next year," he added.
He said the Brazilian Government is looking at including other areas under the agreement, such as placing "military attachÈs in embassies, and military training in both countries involving the navy, army and air force".
Canela said that it was the ship's first visit to the island.
"Jamaica is a very important country in the Caribbean, so the Brazilian Navy considered this visit to be very important, not only in terms of cultural enhancement for the crew, but because of the diplomatic relationship between our countries," he said.
He explained that the ship provides professional and cultural training for officers, who have practical classes in navigation, meteorology, naval operations, damage control, and administration, as well as a full adaptation to life on-board.
The captain noted that between July 24 and December 18 the ship and crew will visit some 15 countries, including Germany, Cuba and Spain.
During his stay in Jamaica, Canela said he held discussions with senior officials of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, International Seabed Authority and the Jamaica Defence Force.
"I am very impressed with all the things that I saw. I think I have a perspective as to how we can enhance future relationships between the Brazilian Navy and those institutions," he added.