HAVANA.—Close to 40,000 young
Africans have studied various specialties in Cuba, a
country which collaborates with 50 nations on this
continent, Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban
Friendship Institute (ICAP) informed Prensa Latina.
She also emphasized the importance of the 4th
African Solidarity with Cuba Conference, which takes
place in Ethiopia, September 21-23.
Organizations from 28 countries –
including Cuba and Ethiopia – and invitees from the
region have confirmed their attendance, with
emphasis on the participation of graduates from
Cuban educational institutions.
Serrano noted that 8,000-plus
Ethiopians were trained in Cuba and are now
integrated in the economic and social life of their
country, in the health, agricultural and sports
sectors, among others.
There are more than 1,100 friendship
associations with Cuba worldwide, of which a large
number are African, given the country’s strong links
in terms of roots and nationality, she confirmed.
Africa is a very important continent
and part of the forum’s work is to learn about the
Ethiopian experience and diversify cooperation.
The ICAP president stressed that,
since the early years of the Revolution, the leader
of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro has been the
principal inspirer of friendship and solidarity,
together with President Raúl Castro and the
legendary Argentine-Cuban Comandante Che Guevara.
Serrano expressed the value of
African nations’ support for the struggle against
the U.S. blockade of Cuba, which comes both from
governments and civil society, particularly within
the UN General Assembly.
In her opinion, it is in these
meetings, first in South Africa, then in Ghana,
moving on to Angola and now in Ethiopia, that the
solidarity with Cuba movement is best expressed.
She recalled that this year marks
the 49th anniversary of Cuban internationalist
cooperation with other nations, which began with the
first medical brigade’s presence in Algeria in 1963.
Cuba currently has cooperative
relations with 51 of the 54 countries on the African
continent. According to official sources, projects
underway are mainly focused on public health, with a
highly positive impact on indicators in the field
and attention directed to the most needy population
sectors in receptor countries.
Work is also underway to establish
cooperation agreements with African regional and sub-regional
agencies, as a way of complementing bilateral
collaboration, as well as the support of third
countries or international agencies for projects on
the continent through triangular cooperation.
Finally, Serrano stated that African
participants in the 4th Conference will reiterate
their condemnation of the blockade and demand the
liberation of the five Cuban anti-terrorists
imprisoned in the United States since 1998.