Cuban vector strengthens
Belarus ready to help modernise Cuban economy, notes President Alexander Lukashenko, on meeting Deputy Chairman of Cuban Council of Ministers, Marino Murillo, in Minsk
By Victor Khristinkov
Mr. Lukashenko remarked that the visit to Belarus by the Cuban delegation aimed at developing arrangements made by the two heads of state during a recent official visit of the Belarusian President to Cuba. “We agreed that a Cuban delegation would arrive in Belarus and that we’d discuss all issues raised by its head,” noted the Belarusian leader.
“I know that the Cuban leadership is interested in avenues of development and the reform of our economy so I’ve promised Raoul Castro that we’ll show him everything, explaining our path in Belarus. If any particular prospect appeals, we can certainly help in implementing it in Cuba, as we’ve done in Venezuela,” Mr. Lukashenko emphasised.
Agriculture is an area where Belarus and Cuba may promote mutually beneficial co-operation, since agricultural development is a priority in the modernisation of the Cuban economy. “Cuba has huge resources for modernising its agriculture, spending at least $1.5bn on importing food and other things necessary for farming. Reducing this sum by $100-200m annually, while substituting some of these imports with Cuban-made products would be a good way of saving money,” said the Head of State.
Belarus is also interested in areas in which Cuba is more developed. Mr. Lukashenko asserted, “Cuba is rich in its development of healthcare and the production of medications; we’ve developed and are currently implementing a similar programme, so your experience could be extremely valuable.”
Mr. Murillo is keen to see Belarusian-Cuban collaboration promoted, asserting, “The programme of our visit is tightly packed and interesting. The transformation of the Belarusian economy and society are of great interest to us. It’s important for us to see all the processes with our own eyes, as they’re well-organised.”
“I’m convinced that, over the next few years, we’ll be able to maintain contacts between ministries and specialists, which could be beneficial to both sides. We should work on this in order to find mutually beneficial areas of bilateral co-operation and to implement concrete projects,” remarked Mr. Murillo.
The President’s meeting with Mr. Murillo was so friendly that it seemed hard to believe that four months had passed since their last meeting, in June, in Havana. The October meeting in Minsk tackled the same issues, from intentions discussed regarding several promising areas of interaction. Of course, interstate dialogue is continuous, with details polished at governmental and ministerial level. Nevertheless, the Cuban visit has helped to reinforce all previous agreements.