Cuba and Venezuela create a $1bn fund for Haiti
Campaign News | Thursday, 15 March 2007
Fidel makes another phone call to Chavez
Besides the USD 1 billion fund, President Hugo Chávez officially announced that Venezuelan state-run Economic and Social Development Bank (Bandes) would create a USD 20 million to finance development projects in Haiti
MARIA LILIBETH DA CORTE
Cuba and Venezuela created a USD 1 billion fund "to help Haiti," with resources devoted to purchase equipment, build dwellings and provide assistance to the Cuban doctors to be deployed in Haiti, said the Venezuelan People's Power Ministry of Communication and Information (Minci) on its website.
In a joint news conference with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Haitian President Rene Preval announced that they initialed a number of cooperation agreements during a tripartite meeting with Cuban State Council Vice-President Esteban Lazo, including the instrument creating the USD 1 billion fund.
"In short time, with Cuban help and cooperation, integral healthcare will be provided in all Haitian communities. Further, we have a group of Haitians taking medicine studies in Cuba. They are to replace Cuban doctors. Besides, Venezuela has provided USD 20 million in humanitarian aid to help shore up this cooperation initiative in the healthcare area," Preval explained.
Castro on the phone
The meeting, held in the National Palace, the Haitian Government headquarters, was joined by Cuban ruler Fidel Castro, who called Chávez, Preval and Lazo four times to take part in the ceremony sealing the tripartite agreement, DPA reported.
"President Castro took part in the meeting by phone to consolidate a great space for trilateral cooperation among Cuba, Venezuela and Haiti," Chávez declared before departing from Haiti around midnight, thus putting an end to his tour of several Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The three governments entered into an agreement under which Venezuela undertook to install four electric powerhouses with an overall capacity of 100 megawatts in Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien and Gonaives, Preval said.
Besides the USD 1 billion fund, President Hugo Chávez officially announced that Venezuelan state-run Economic and Social Development Bank (Bandes) would create a USD 20 million to finance development projects in Haiti. Furthermore, the Venezuelan ruler announced disbursement of USD 57 million to overhaul Haitian airports, as well as a new deal under which Venezuela is to provide 7,000 bpd of crude oil to the island, besides the 7,000 bpd Venezuela provides to Haiti under Petrocaribe.
Meanwhile, Cuba pledged to send new medical staff to provide healthcare assistance to the remotest Haitian communities. Further, Cuba offered to grant scholarships to 800 Haitians taking medicine studies in Havana.
President Chávez seized the opportunity to clarify he has nothing personal against his US counterpart George W. Bush.
"This is not about Chávez versus Bush or Bush versus Chávez. If this were a personal matter, he would be knocked down long time ago. You know this is not a personal issue."
"He (Bush) embodies the imperialist model of colonial domination. We represent, and I am saying this humbly, yet with much dignity, the Bolivarian project of liberation of our peoples," Chávez highlighted.