Bachelet: “Our cooperation with Cuba reflects solidarity between the countries and a common longing for progress and growth accompanied by justice and equality”
At the ceremony, the President enumerated the support Chile provides the island nation in matters of agriculture, construction, health and economic development.
During her Official Visit to Cuba, President Michelle Bachelet participated in an event at the President Salvador Allende School in Havana.
At the ceremony recognizing Chilean cooperation in Cuba, President Bachelet noted that 11 Havana schools have received stereos, projectors and computers thanks to support and efforts by the Chilean Agency for International Co-operation and Development.
Likewise the Chilean National Kindergarten Board donated toys and educational material to the Chile Lindo Children’s Circles and Grandes Alamedas (Great Avenues) programs to support teaching and child development.
“Chile’s cooperation with Cuba reflects solidarity between the countries and a common longing for progress and growth accompanied by justice and equality,” stated the President. She added that “we are very grateful and will never forget the support that the Cuban government and people lent our country in difficult times.”.
She explained that cooperation with Cuba is part of the Chilean Agency for International Co-operation and Development and Chilean Ministry of Foreign Trade’s 2015-2018 Cooperation Program, which focuses on agriculture, construction, health and economic development.
“The initiatives underway involve about US$1.5 million in investment in bilateral and trilateral projects. Two thirds of this figure is comprised of contributions from partners like the European Union and Mexico,” she said.
Chilean cooperation is two-fold: technical assistance and human resource development.
In agriculture, Chile has transferred technology for evaluating plant-derivative bioproducts to control pests that affect fruit trees.
In health, the Cooperation Agency was able to support a noninvasive ventilation pilot program for neuromuscular disease patients in Cuba.
In human capital development, the agency created the José Martí scholarship program, through which 12 Cuban students are studying at Chilean universities.
In trilateral cooperation projects, the countries partnered with the European Union to create the Food Safety Project, which aims to increase the availability of safe, animal-derived food and improve animal health.
“We share Cuba’s vision of the importance and potential of south-south cooperation. One clear example is the project by Chile-Mexico Cooperation Fund and Cuba to improve access and use of quality essential medicine in our brother country, Haiti. Through the project, medicines have been provided to six health centers, three of which are staffed by Cuban medical brigades,” said President Bachelet.
She added that “the responsibility to cooperate is a pillar of Chilean foreign policy. We are very pleased to be working with Cuba and other Central American and Caribbean countries to develop a broad program”.
The President emphasized that all countries face great challenges and explained that in order to overcome them together, “in 2015 and with the conviction that no one can be left behind on the road to sustainable development, the United Nations General Assembly agreed to the 2030 Agenda. In the words of Martí: “If a republic refuses to open its arms to all, and move ahead with all, it dies”.