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O U R  A M E R I C A

Havana. November 14, 2014

Collaboration to benefit the people

Laura Bécquer Paseiro

CARACAS.— The Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement Cuba-Venezuela is based on solidarity, mutual support and respect for sovereignty and complimentarity, stated Cuban ambassador to Venezuela, Rogelio Polanco.

In a meeting with the Cuban press, regarding the 14th anniversary of the signing of the document (November 30, 2000), the diplomat stated that the Agreement is entering a new stage which includes achieving "greater efficiency and rationality in all bi-national projects."

He commented that there are currently 42,000 Cuban collaborators working in Venezuela in diverse spheres, responding to "the needs of the plans implemented in the sister nation."

Maintaining and consolidating achievements and identifying new areas of common interest, in accordance with the advance of the Bolivarian Revolution form part of Agreement objectives, stated Polanco.

The ambassador cited as an example, Cuba’s contribution to the Socialist Mission Bases, through the transfer of technology for pharmaceutical production, as well as the training of health specialists.

This demands the effort and participation of dozens of Cuban and Venezuelan institutions in order to maintain a sufficient number of initiatives, which enable us to achieve the social and economic goals envisioned by Comandantes Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, he noted.

Polanco also highlighted the impact of the Agreement both on Venezuelan and Cuban society, describing it as "vital to the socio-economic development" of both countries.

"Hundreds of agreements have been adopted over the years which have focused on the most crucial issues affecting the life of both our nations: health, education, culture and sport. In addition to agriculture, industry, transport and telecommunications," he stated.

The initiative has had a substantial impact on Human Development rates in Venezuela, a nation which today, has achieved important results in poverty reduction. According to the diplomat, for Cuba it has resulted in "human, political and cultural enrichment," given that "our collaborators return, having grown from a human perspective, ready to offer the results of their collaboration in our country."

The agreement has also constituted a great help to the Cuban energy sector.

Caracas and Havana have drawn up strategic mutual support plans, an example of which, Polanco stated, are mechanisms such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Alba), founded 10 years ago.

Solidarity, one of the principles of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, is not giving what we have left over, but sharing what we have, and forms the foundations of joint projects geared toward the economic and social development of both nations.

"Cuba and Venezuela are more united than ever in this battle for the dignity of our peoples, for the second independence of our homeland," expressed President Chávez at the time. And so it remains, a decade later.

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