[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

8759: Castro and Aristide tour museum (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Castro and Aristide tour museum; Haitian chief winds up trip

Associated Press
Posted July 19 2001

HAVANA -- The hope of Haiti, the most impoverished country in the Western 
Hemisphere, is to advance from misery to simple poverty, Haitian President 
Jean-Bertrand Aristide told Cuban university students Thursday.

During his talk at the University of Havana, Aristide said that ``no 
government can talk about successes or triumphs without the conditions of 
its people.''

``Education for everyone _ that is what we want, to make a human 
investment,'' Aristide said as he wrapped up his first official visit to 
Cuba. ``Health for everyone _ that is what we want, to make a human 

``Our struggle today is to be rich ... our struggle is to pass from misery 
to poverty,'' he added.

It was Aristide's first visit to Cuba since he was re-elected to a 
nonconsecutive second term last November. He was ending his first 
presidential term when the two countries re-established diplomatic relations 
in 1996. Cuba has increasingly reached out to help Haiti, its neighbor to 
the east, in recent years. More than 600 Cubans currently are volunteering 
services in Haiti in the fields of public health, education, fishing, 
agriculture, sugar, construction and sports.

During the visit that began Monday, Aristide has thanked Cuba for its 
assistance to his country.

Aristide met with President Fidel Castro during his stay, and accompanied 
him Wednesday night on a tour of Cuba's newly renovated National Museum of 
Fine Arts.

Renovation of the museum complex, anchored by the Palacio de Bellas Artes, 
or Palace of Fine Arts, and the nearby Asturian Center took more than two 
years and cost more than $14.5 million. The complex features nearly 50,000 
works of art, ranging from the colonial period to modern times.

Speaking for three hours at the museum's door after the tour, Castro denied 
reports from Miami that his government had sold precious works of art during 
the 1990s to help survive the nation's financial crisis.

``Not only are they not for sale, they will be defended with the blood of 
our people,'' he said.

Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp