Vietnamese, Cuban parties boost information-education cooperation

A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, led by its deputy head Le Manh Hung, paid a working visit to Cuba from December 3-8.

The visit was made as part of the CPV’s agreement on exchange and cooperation with the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC).

During the trip, the CPV delegation had several meetings with leaders of the CPC Central Committee’s departments for external affairs, information and education, economic affairs, and theoretical affairs.

At the meetings, the two sides exchanged views on Party-building contents in terms of theory, politics and ideology as well as information on achievements attained by Vietnam in its three decades of reform and by Cuba since its socio-economic model update initiated at the CPC’s 6th congress.

The discussions focused on experiences in carrying out missions in the fronts of politics, ideology, culture, and education. They stressed progresses they have achieved and pointed to challenges amid the fast development of information technology, the Internet and social networks.

The two sides expressed their wishes to boost delegation exchanges between the two parties’ agencies to update information and boost theoretical development.

As part of the visit, the CPV delegation paid working visits to University of Havana, Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (ICAP), and Cuban journalists' association (UPEC).

The Vietnamese delegates also called at Vo Thi Thang primary school in Havana and University of Matanzas "Camilo Cienfuegos and laid flowers in tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his statue and Cuban national hero Jose Marti.

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Declaration of the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba

The Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba, committed to the solidarity and humanistic principles that have guided Cuba’s medical cooperation for 55 years, has been participating in the Program More Doctors for Brazil since its inception in August 2013.  This initiative launched by Dilma Rousseff, who was at that moment the president of the Federal Republic of Brazil, pursued the double purpose of guaranteeing medical assistance to the majority of the Brazilian people, following the principle of universal health coverage promoted by the World Health Organization.

The program had planned the inclusion of Brazilian and foreign doctors who would go to work in poor and remote areas of that country.

Cuba’s participation in this program was arranged through the Pan-American Health Organization with one distinctive feature, for it was intended to fill the vacancies left by doctors from Brazil and other foreign nations.

During these five years of work, around 20 000 Cuban cooperation workers have assisted 113 359 000 patients in more than 3 600 municipalities.  They managed to provide health coverage to a universe of up to 60 million Brazilians at the moment when they accounted for 80 per cent of all the doctors who were taking part in the program. More than 700 municipalities were able to count on a doctor for the first time ever.

The work of Cuban doctors in areas of extreme poverty, in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia and the 34 Special Indigenous Districts, particularly in Amazonia, was largely recognized by the federal, state and municipal governments of that country and its population, 95 per cent of which expressed their acceptance, according to a survey carried out by the Federal University of Minas Gerais at the request of the Ministry of Health of Brazil.

On September 27, 2016, the Ministry of Public Health, in an official statement issued on a day close to the expiration date of the agreement and amidst the events associated to the legislative and judicial coup d’ etat against president Dilma Rousseff, announced that Cuba “would continue to honor its agreement with the Pan-American Health Organization for the implementation of the Program More Doctors, provided that the guarantees offered by local authorities were maintained”, something that has been so far respected.

Jair Bolsonaro, president elect of Brazil, who has made direct, contemptuous and threatening comments against the presence of our doctors, has declared and reiterated that he will modify the terms and conditions of the Program More Doctors, in full disregard of the Pan-American Health Organization and the agreement reached by this organization with Cuba, since he has questioned the qualification of our doctors and has conditioned their permanence in the program to a process of validation of their titles and established that contracts will only be signed on an individual basis.

The announced modifications impose conditions that are unacceptable and fail to ensure the guarantees that had been previously agreed upon since the beginning of the Program, which were ratified in 2016 with the re-negotiation of the Terms of Cooperation between The Pan-American Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of Brazil and the Cooperation Agreement between the Pan-American Health Organization and the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba.  These unacceptable conditions make it impossible to maintain the presence of Cuban professionals in the Program.

Consequently, in the light of this unfortunate reality, the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba has decided to discontinue its participation in the Program More Doctors and has informed so to the Director of the Pan-American Health Organization and the political leaders of Brazil who founded and defended this initiative.

The decision to bring into question the dignity, professionalism and altruism of Cuban cooperation workers who, with the support of their families, are currently offering their services in 67 countries is unacceptable. During the last 55 years, a total of 600 000 internationalist missions have been accomplished in 164 nations, with the participation of 400 000 health workers who, in quite a few cases, have fulfilled this honorable task more than once. Their feats in the struggle against the Ebola virus in Africa, blindness in Latin America and the Caribbean and cholera in Haiti as well as the participation of 26 brigades of the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Great Epidemics “Henry Reeve” in Pakistan, Indonesia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Venezuela, among other countries, are worthy of praise.

In the overwhelming majority of the missions that have been accomplished, all expenses have been covered by the Cuban government.

Likewise, 35 613 health professionals from 138 countries have been trained in Cuba at absolutely no cost as an expression of our solidarity and internationalist vocation.

All Cuban cooperation workers have preserved their posts and their full salary in Cuba, together with all due labor and social benefits, just as the rest of the workers of the National Health System.

The experience of the Program More Doctors for Brazil and Cuba’s participation in it show that it is indeed possible to structure a South-South Cooperation Program under the auspices of the Pan-American Health Organization in order to promote the achievement of its goals in our region.  The United Nations Development Program and the World Health Organization have described it as the main example of good practices in triangular cooperation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

The peoples from Our America and from all over the world know that they will always be able to count on the solidarity and humanistic vocation of our professionals.

The Brazilian people, who turned the Program More Doctors into a social achievement and, from the very beginning, has trusted Cuban doctors, recognized their virtues and appreciated the respect, sensitivity and professionalism with which they have assisted them, will understand who are to be held responsible for our doctors’ not being able to continue offering their fraternal contribution in that country.

Havana, November 14, 2018.

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Uzbekistan, Cuba eye to develop co-op in tourist sector

Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov received the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba Ana Teresita Gonzalez Fraga on Sept. 24, 2018, Uzbek media reported.

According to the Uzbek Foreign Ministry's press service, the Cuban delegation arrived in Tashkent on a working visit.

During the meeting, the diplomats discussed the state of bilateral relations. They noted an interest in deepening the Uzbek-Cuban dialogue in various areas of mutual interest.

Despite the geographical distance, Uzbekistan and Cuba are ready to develop economic ties, using the high potential and real opportunities of both countries.

During the meeting, the diplomats also exchanged views on the prospects for expanding tourist, cultural and humanitarian exchanges on a mutually beneficial basis.

On the same day, the Foreign Ministry hosted the first round of inter-MFA political consultations. Cuban Ambassador Alfredo Nieves Portuando took part in the negotiations.

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Venezuela and Cuba Consolidate Cooperation in Tourism

Venezuelan Minister of Tourism, Stella Lugo, and her Cuban peer, Manuel Marrero, had a meeting to evaluate cooperation between both nations in that sector, as part of the work tour that Lugo is carrying out in Cuba.

The meeting included the updated presentation of the sector's progress in the Caribbean nation, where the Cuban representative exposed the potentialities and challenges of this activity, says a press release published by the foreign ministry of Venezuela.

During the meeting held at the headquarters of the Cuban ministry, Marrero gave a detailed explanation on the peculiarities of international and local tourism, the impact of the U.S. blockade on the nation as well as the business opportunities offered by this territory.

For her part, Lugo, who makes her first visit abroad, thanked her peer for the advice given to Venezuela by the island for some years now regarding this sector. The Venezuelan high official also recognized the advances of the island in this activity despite the U.S. unilateral blockade, which has generated damages for over 26 billion dollars, according to data offered by the Cuban Minister in his presentation

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Cuba, South Africa Talk about Increasing Bilateral Cooperation

Havana, Jul 4 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez today received the Minister of South African Presidency, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in this capital, with whom he discussed bilateral cooperation in several sectors and means to increase it.

According to a note published on the website of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, both agreed that relations between the two countries are in a good state.

During her work visit, Dlamini-Zuma, also in charge of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, will attend the commemorative act for the Centennial of the South African leader Nelson Mandela's birth.

On that occasion, there will be a farewell for 700 South African medical students finishing their fifth year in Cuba and returning to their country to conclude the specialty.

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Cuba, India Sign Cooperation Agreements in Health, Biotechnology

Cuba and India signed here today three juridical instruments to promote cooperation in the field of health and biotechnology, agreements framed in President Ram Nath Kovind''s visit to the island.

In the presence of the host head of State Miguel Diaz-Canel and President Kovind, the Ayush Ministry of India and the Public Health Ministry of Cuba agreed through a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the links in traditional systems of medicine and homeopathy.

For their part, the Ministries of Science and Technology signed a memorandum for biotechnological cooperation.

About Kovind's visit, a letter of intent was also established between BioCubaFarma, the Council for the Support of Biotechnology Research and Kalam Institute of Health Technologies in India.

The Indian President and Diaz Canel held official talks before the signing ceremony of the legal instruments.

Earlier, Kovind paid tribute to the Cuban National Hero, Jose Marti, and the Indian independence leader, Mahatma Gandhi.

In the afternoon, the visitor will give a lecture in the Aula Magna of the University of Havana and will tour parts of the capital's historic center, declared by Unesco World Heritage Site in 1982.

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Cuba – new investment destination of Vietnamese firms

Cuba has emerged as the third biggest investment destination of Vietnamese enterprises after Laos and Cambodia.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnamese firms registered to invest 19.9 million USD in Cuba in the first four months of 2018 despite geographical distance.

This move is expected to open a new door with numerous business cooperation opportunities for the two countries.

The FIA revealed some investment projects of Vietnam in the new market including an oil and gas exploration project of PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP) and diaper and washing powder production projects at Mariel Special Economic Development Zone of Thai Binh Company.

Several years ago, Cuba had been forecast to be an emerging market after Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. There is plenty of room in this market and the Cuban government has repeatedly called on Vietnamese enterprises to make investment in the nation.

The opportunities have become more obvious after the visit to Cuba by Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong in March 2018 with a number of cooperation agreements signed.

Particularly, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment inked an agreement concluding the official negotiation between the two countries on a new bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

The two sides pledged to conduct legal revisions to bring the FTA into force as soon as possible to support trade growth and attract investment.

Experts said these are important moves to boost Vietnam-Cuba trade and investment relations.

According to the FIA, Vietnamese firms poured 153.6 million USD abroad in the first four months of 2018. The figure included nearly 129 million USD in newly-registered capital and 24.6 million USD in increased capital.

Vietnam injected 80.12 million USD in Laos, making up 52.2 percent of the total investment capital, and 25.9 million USD in Cambodia in the January-April period.

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Cuba, Saudi Arabia Strengthen Friendship and Cooperation Ties

Cuba and Saudi Arabia are showing today a progress in their friendship and cooperation ties with the recent visit to the Caribbean island of Arabian Foreign Minister, Adel al Jubeir.

Al Jubeir and President Raul Castro highlighted yesterday the positive level of relations between the two countries and expressed the will to continue developing them.

Prior to this meeting, Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, received the visitor at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he highlighted Cuba and Saudi Arabia's interest to strengthen ties.

His visit, the first of a Saudi foreign minister to Havana, will surely contribute to develop such ties, Rodriguez told reporters.

He also affirmed that the Cuban government appreciates the cooperation projects together with the Saudi Fund for Development and reiterated the Caribbean nation's support to the just causes of the Arab peoples, particularly the Palestinian people.

The Saudi foreign minister advocated for working to increase investments and collaboration in different fields between Havana and Riyadh.

Cuban Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Economy and Planning, Ricardo Cabrisas, also received Al Jubeir yesterday.

In recent years, Cuba and Saudi Arabia have taken steps to strengthen their relations, including the signing of agreements on economic matters.

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