Haitian President Michel Martelly’s official visit to Cuba ended today; the visit was aimed at strengthening bilateral relations.
Although Martelly’s agenda included meetings in Havana with authorities, laying a wreath at the José Martí memorial at Havana’s Revolution Square, and a talk with President Raul Castro, the Haitian leader had the opportunity to hold a three hour meeting with Fidel Castro.
The Haitian president said that the relationship between his country and Cuba is “based on the heart” and “marked by solidarity,” and he thanked the island for its solidarity with his country, particularly in the health sector, which dates from 1998. “We are very pleased with the presence in my country of Cuban physicians and professionals. The health minister also traveled to Havana and we have the opportunity to work in future projects,” Martelly said.
In particular, he referred to the medical cooperation and more than 700 Cuban collaborators in that area, currently working in Haiti, which was hit by tragedies such as the January 2010 earthquake and the outbreak of cholera at the end of that year. The bi-national collaboration also highlights education, with the presence in Cuba of more than 400 Haitian scholarship holders, mostly trained in health field, and approximately 700 Haitians who have graduated in the field of medicine in Cuba.
For original articles, see http://www.cmhw.icrt.cu/English/national/2152-martellys-visit-strengthens-cuba-haiti-cooperation and http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca/content/michel-martelly-cuba-sister-people in English and http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2011/11/18/martelly-finaliza-su-primera-visita-oficial-cuba-y-regresa-haiti/ in Spanish.