The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Envoy Hails Zim-Cuba Co-Operation

The 54th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban revolution and the 160th anniversary of the birth of Cuban national hero José Martí are dedicated to solidarity organisations and their membership for their sustained and combative support toward the just causes of Cuba and Zimbabwe, the Cuban Ambassador to Zimbabwe has said.

Addressing members of the Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association, the Free the Five and the Association of Graduates in Cuba and the Cuban Cultural Association who attended last weekend's celebrations Ambassador López said the annual event was the fight for the lifting of the US blockade against Cuba, the Western sanctions against Zimbabwe, the freedom of the Five Cuban heroes and for the defence of Cuba and Zimbabwe's independence and sovereignty and their historical links of solidarity".

Ambassador Lopéz also hailed the Cuban people who against all odds have resisted and maintained Cuba's socialist conquests through the provision of free health care and education systems.

Last year, Cuba's economy grew by 2,1 percent and the Caribbean Island received close to 2,9 million tourists.

"In line with the economic and social guidelines of the Party and the Revolution for the updating of the Cuban Economical and Social Model, Cuba has continued to develop the biotechnology sector; improve its sugar industry and economic and commercial activities", said ambassador Lopéz.

Ambassador López said that despite US aggression, the Cuban government and people have kept their international and solidarity commitments through the following actions:

More than 56 200 Cuban collaborators are serving in 101 countries and 4 overseas territories.

Over 70 percent of Cuban collaboration are in the field of health. In Zimbabwe, Cuba's Medical Brigade is serving in both urban and rural health care centres across the country.

Over 50 800 collaborators are serving in 32 countries and 4 overseas territories in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Today, Cuba has more than 29 300 young students from 115 countries, among them more than 18 800 from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Cuba has graduated more than 55 200 youths from 134 countries and 5 overseas territories.

The "Operation Miracle" programme has 63 ophthalmological centres, 84 surgery units and 821 Cuban collaborators in 16 countries.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, over 2 million patients have had surgery in the framework of "Operation Miracle".

The "Yo si puedo" (Yes, I can) literacy programme has been implemented in 28 countries, teaching over 5 million people.

More than 690 collaborators are working under this project in 19 countries.

Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have been declared illiteracy-free territories after they implemented the "Yes, I can" program.

Ambassador López also applauded Cuba's elevation in international affairs.

The summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union held over the weekend in Santiago de Chile saw president Raúl Castro Ruz taking over the rotating presidency of the 33-member regional grouping.

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