Above: Cuba’s Raul Castro and Haiti President Michel Martelly (Photo: OP Haiti)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti and Cuba strengthened their ties Wednesday by signing a series of cooperation agreements in fields including public health and agriculture.
The agreements were signed during Haiti President Michel Martelly’s visit to the island this week, which included a meeting with Raul Castro, president of the Council of State of Cuba.
The agreements included one that will deploy a group of 723 Cuban doctors to Haiti; a two-year agreement between Haiti’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Cuban Ministry of Trade and Foreign Investment on technical assistance at the Darbonne plant for sugar production; a Memorandum of Understanding on a five-year programme of development in the areas of fisheries and agriculture; an MoU on agriculture and livestock; an MoU on cooperation in agricultural mechanization; a two-year agreement on cooperation in veterinary medicine and a two-year agreement for use of Cuba’s “Yo, Si Puedo” literacy programme.
Haiti’s Foreign Minister Pierre Richard Casimir signed the agreements on behalf of Haiti.
Cuban Ministers signing the agreements included Maria del Carmen Concepcion (Food Industry) Salvador Pardo Cruz (Iron and Steel) Ena Elsa Velázquez (Education), Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero, (Agriculture) Rodrigo Malmierca (Foreign Trade and Investment) and Marcia Cobas, Deputy Minister of Public Health.
Earlier on the trip, Martelly laid a wreath at the statue of Cuban national hero Jose Marti and laid wreaths at the busts of Haitian founding fathers Toussaint Louverture and Alexandre Petion.
Martelly called the agreements “steps towards the revitalization of Haitian-Cuban cooperation through [Cuba’s] vast field of sustainable development programmes.”