Now that Cuba and the U.S. have resumed diplomatic relationships following 50-plus years of non-cooperation between the two, the Haitian healthcare system will benefit from the U.S.-Cuba medical partnership. This September a delegation of doctors and diplomats from both countries arrived in Haiti to visit hospitals, where free medical care is being provided by U.S. and Cuban doctors already on the ground.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the Port-au-Prince U.S. Embassy, Brian Shukan, acknowledged Cuba's commitment to improving the lives of poor Haitians with free medical care. It is a legacy that has lasted decades and strengthened beneficial bonds existing between the nations.
As per the news report dated September 29, 2015, the Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez has announced in New York that with the approval of the Haitian authority that Cuba will propose Washington for a trilateral health assistance project for Haiti. Cuba has a long standing tradition of rendering medical aid in Haiti.
A few years ago, a medical brigade of 1,200 Cubans has operated all over the earthquake-torn and cholera-infected Haiti. They have treated over 30,000 cholera patients (around 40% of the total cholera patients) in Haiti and they arrived immediately after the earthquake struck. Presently, about 700 Cuban doctors are working in Haiti. Over 800 Haitian doctors have received medical training in Cuba. According to Rodriguez, Cuba is willing to be a part of the trilateral project with the U.S. because it could have a substantial reach with greater impact on Haiti's health situation including areas like fight on drug trafficking and terrorism.
The United States and Cuba are moving toward normalization of relations for the first time in more than fifty years. They are re-opening their diplomatic ties, and their embassies have reopened on Monday, July 20, for the first time in 54 years. Miami was once a hotbed of diplomacy with Havana, even today, Miami-Dade County is home to almost a million Cubans, the largest concentration in the country and second only to Havana in the world. Now that Cuba has an embassy again in Washington, D.C., consulates would be coming to serve its people, most of whom live in Florida. But don't expect an old lovely building known as 'Villa Paula', a vintage platform in the Cuba-U.S relation, will have any role in it. It is unlikely ever to return to its use as a Cuban consulate.
Recently, Mr. Ghisler Dugas, the Director General of Haitian Ministry of Trade and Industry (MCI) accompanying a delegation of Haitian entrepreneurs, visited the "Entrepreneurs' Fair" held between July 15 and 17, 2015, in Santiago, Cuba. About nine industrial entrepreneurs from Haiti visited the fair to represent their products like bouillon cube, pasta, beer, rum, milk, liquor cereals, Smartphone, etc. The government is hopeful of this initiative on many counts. It has the possibilities of drawing the interest of the Cuban importers, promote investment and explore new markets. Jude Hervey Day, the Haitian Minister of Trade and Industry has expressed his belief that the Haitian products have the potentiality to satisfy the needs of the Cuban people.
Faced with massive influx of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent being deported from the Dominican Republic to Haiti, Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul put the Dominican Government on guard against the type of people that they are sending to Haiti. He stated that the Haitian government will welcome the Haitians but will not admit any non Haitians into the country. Specifically, anyone not born in Haiti will not be admitted into the country, that is according to Mr. Evans Paul.
I consider such a statement by the Haiti Prime Minister as pure bluff. It is an attempt by Mr. Paul deceive us pretending to in case that the Dominican Government makes any attempt to send someone who was born in the Dominican Republic with Haitian root back to Haiti, they will be faced with corresponding action from the Haitian government.
Haiti and Cuba, these two Caribbean nations are separated by the Windward Passage that lies between the easternmost region of Cuba and the northwest of Haiti. These countries are the two perfect examples of extreme political ideologies--Haiti an unsuccessful capitalism and Cuba an example of failed communism. These two countries had remained under the Spanish colonial dominance for a long time. Cuba was once a pearl in the Spanish empire in the Caribbean and Haiti is the only example in the world that got independence through a successful slave revolution.
The Cubans were the first to arrive in Haiti with medical teams after the 2010 earthquake and played a major role in treating Haiti's earthquake victims. These two countries are presently passing a year of momentous challenges through a phase of transition. Cuba is the last Latin American socialist country which is moving to a much-needed roadmap for a peaceful and productive transition from communism to capitalism and it is facing the challenge of managing an increasingly chaotic, dysfunctional economy. Haitian President Martelly and his newly elected Prime Minister Evans Paul, are moving for a peaceful Presidential and local elections before the year's end. They seem to be firm in establishing democracy and stability in the country. The U.S president Obama is taking every effort to normalize the relation and ease the U.S embargo on Cuba to give its people a better chance to transform their country. Most importantly, the lifted ban will allow the Cubans to buy U.S communication equipments. The new regulations will allow U.S media networks a right of independent broadcast to Cuba. It is a long recognized fact that information is the key to change in Cuba. Cuba has one of the lowest internet penetration in the world. The Americans will provide business training for the private entrepreneurs. President Raul Castro has taken a big challenge. He is determined to continue the reform process without the fear of losing power.
Haiti Pivotal in Resumption of U.S. - Cuba Relations. Haitian President Martelly was instrumental in helping normalize relations between Cuba and the U.S. that precipitated U.S. citizen Allan Gross's release from a Cuban prison. Martelly aided in facilitating negotiations between the U.S and Cuba, according to a statement issued by the President's Office of Communications.
In talks with Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, Martelly was able to persuade Nelson of Haiti's good relations with both the U.S. and Cuba that could help to ease long-standing tensions between them. When Martelly visited Cuba in 2013, he brought attention to the Grosse issue with Cuban officials, who agreed to discuss the matter with the Obama administration. Martelly got back to Nelson with the news, who then contacted the White House.
On January 23, 2014, Michel Martelly placed a wreath at the base of a monument to General Jose Marti, who gained freedom for Cuba in the 1900s. Haiti, along with the Dominican Republic (DR), provided military aid to Marti to help liberate Cuba during the Cuban War of Independence.
The monument, standing in the newly-built Jose Marti Square, upholds a bust of Marti, created by a Haitian architect in cooperation with the National School of Arts. In attendance at the opening were the envoy of Cuban President, Raul Castro, Rafael Bernard Alemani; Minister of Culture, Josette Darguste; and other government officials.
After a moment of silence, Martelly spoke of the alliance between Cuba and Haiti, and what significance it holds for both countries in the present. He said Marti began ". . . the genesis of cooperation between Haiti and Cuba . . . that still develops for the benefit of Haiti and Cuban citizens." Alemani said the Cuban people are grateful to Haiti for the ". . . aid granted to the precursor of Cuban independence."
Raul Castro, Cuba's current president, gave a speech on TV New Years' Day, also the 55th anniversary of Cuba's successful revolution. He declared Cuba would always remain committed to Haiti and its sovereignty from foreign rule. He referred to Haiti's establishment as a republic on January 4, 1804, and the beneficial effect it had on the Caribbean region, noting many Cubans are of Haitian descent.
Castro's speech drew a rousing response from the audience, who viewed his remarks as a veiled warning to the Dominican Republic (DR) Cuba sees the DR's High Court ruling of the disenfranchisement of Haitian descendents of illegal aliens living in the DR a threat to Haiti's stability.
There is a proverb that states: You know your true friends in time of need". If this statement is to hold in the case of Haiti, so far, we can mention two very good friends: Venezuela as Cuba. These two leaders have come out publicly to support the Haitian people when we need them the most.
Warning from Nicolas Maduro: "Whoever messes with Haiti messes with Venezuela". This is the strongest possible way to come out in favor of the cause of the Haitian people. For that, the Haitian people will for ever remember Nicolas Maduro.
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