Cuban FM Rodriguez Praises ALBA’s Role in Haiti Crisis

Posted on January 25, 2010

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Cuban FM Praises ALBA’s Role in Haiti Crisis

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 25 (acn) Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla
praised the role of and the assistance provided by the Bolivarian Alliance
for the Peoples of the Americas (ALBA) to the people of Haiti after the
devastation caused in this Caribbean nation by an earthquake almost two
weeks ago.
    Speaking in a meeting of ALBA’s Extraordinary Political Council held
on Sunday in Caracas, Venezuela, to examine the situation in Haiti,
Rodriguez made reference to a recent article by the leader of the Cuban
Revolution Fidel Castro entitled “We Send Doctors, Not Soldiers”, and
added that the ALBA countries have always made efforts to help Haiti.
    “Since 1998, Cuba, with the cooperation of other ALBA countries, has
provided medical assistance to 13 million Haitian patients, including
207,000 surgeries and 103,000 labors. It is estimated that hundreds of
lives have been saved,” he said.
    The Cuban diplomat noted that 26,000 Haitians have benefited from the
Miracle free eye care program and that more than 900 young Haitian
students have graduated from an ALBA nation with nearly 600 currently
studying there. He added that 160,000 Haitians have also learned to read
and write with the assistance of an ALBA country plus the contribution of
Venezuela.
    Rodriguez recalled that ALBA was also working with Haiti in important
projects in the fields of education, health, housing, energy, fishing,
agriculture, air and land transportation, communications and sugar production.
    “When the earthquake took place, ALBA did not have to go to Haiti
because it was already there,” the Cuban Foreign Minister stressed.
    He pointed out that 11 says after the disaster occurred, health
professionals from Cuba, Venezuela and other ALBA countries, have treated
23,171 people, including 2,090 surgeries, and they have immunized 7,874
people against tetanus.
    “This effort involves almost 1000 medics and paramedics, including 249
young Haitians and 16 surgical teams that have worked almost around the
clock. There are 766 Cuban specialists in Haiti with 466 of them in
Port-au-Price,” Rodriguez said.
    He added that emergency services are currently being provided in 14
hospitals and by mobile brigades of primary health care in dozens of
communities.
    The Cuban diplomat suggested the implementation of a program by ALBA
to rebuild and equip the Haitian health system describing it as a solid,
sustainable and lasting contribution to the people of Haiti. He also urged
ALBA to create a medical contingent to join the current efforts in the
Caribbean nation along with personnel from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
    Rodriguez reiterated Cuba’s willingness to cooperate with all the
countries in the world to solve humanitarian problems.

Worldnews/ef/11:45

El ALBA no tuvo que ir a Haití, el ALBA estaba en Haití

Cuban News Agency
www.cubanews.ain.cu
ainnews@ain.cu