June 10, 2014
Up to last year, a total of 556 Jamaican students had graduated from Cuban universities.
One year ago, in July, 2014, 23 Jamaican students graduated from Cuban Universities: 15 students from Medical Sciences, 2 from Physical Education and Sports, 5 from specialties of the Ministry of Higher Education and 1 from the Ministry of Education
On behalf of the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba, I’d like to welcome you all to this ceremony for the official presentation of Medical Scholarships to Jamaican youngsters who will soon be travelling to Cuba to study Medicine, free of charge.
Today, we give a special welcome to the eight young Jamaicans who have been awarded those scholarships to study in Cuba.
Also, we would like to take this opportunity to give special welcome to a young, daughter of Cuban resident in Jamaican, who has been awarded too with one scholarship to study Medicine in our country. Every year, Cuba grants some scholarships to students who are descendents of Cuban who live abroad. Jamaica was awarded in this opportunity and Denis Cesar Reina Hernández is here with us along with the seven Jamaican students, as the descendant of Cubans needed this chance and applied for it.
Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution
Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, our people undertook their project of freedom, solidarity and social justice. The profound economic, political and social changes undertaken, paved the way for the eradication of structural injustices inherited from the colonial and neo-colonial domination that Cuba suffered.
Cuba is today a stable country, with a united, educated and healthy people and has been able to continue its path of social achievements. More than a million university graduates, accounting for 11.1 percent of the population, and 18.7 percent of the economically active labour force. My country stands out in the region in the percentage of public spending to GDP to be spent on education, 12.9.
Cuba has provided the largest possible number of education professionals with access to the Internet, for the purpose of their own preparation. Some 26,650 teachers will be able to access the Internet from their schools by May, 2016, to support research and academic work. By 2017, the ministry expects to have all middle schools, day-care centers and special education centers to be connected, in a process set to conclude with elementary schools in 2018.
Cuba has also offered and continues to offer cooperation, mainly in the fields of health and education, in countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Not only Cuban teachers have rendered their services in many developing countries, but also many students from those countries have studied and graduated, free of charge, in Cuban universities.
Cuba will keep cooperating with the countries of the Caribbean Community
In this regional context, I am pleased to reaffirm that Cuba will keep cooperating with the countries of the Caribbean Community in areas such as health, development of human resources, construction and sports, which has effectively contributed to the growth of wellbeing of our peoples.
Since 1959, the Cuban people have been striving for a better world where justice prevails and the rights of people are upheld in choosing their own destiny and path to development.
There are currently 65,000 Cuban collaborators working in 89 countries, especially in the spheres of medicine and education. 68,000 professionals and technicians from 157 countries have graduated from the island, 30,000 of which in the field of health.
These scholarships were offered under the Cuba – Jamaica Programme for the academic year 2015-2016. By so doing, the relevant Cuban institutions kept that programme ongoing in spite of Cuba´s current economic challenges caused basically by the impact of the continuation of the unjust and more than five-decade US blockade, which in spite of the new policy that President Obama has opened toward our country, continues to be applied in full force against the island.
Cooperation ties between Cuba and Jamaica
Cooperation ties between Cuba and Jamaica continue strengthening in different fields. Until last year, a total of 556 students have graduated in Cuba in different specialities.
Just in July, 2014 were graduated from Jamaica in Cuba a total of 15 students from Medical Sciences, 2 from Physical Education and Sports, 5 from specialties of the Ministry of Higher Education (Chemistry, Biomedical, Accounting, Civil Engineering and Psychology) and 1 from the Ministry of Education (Degree in Biology and Chemistry). At present, Jamaica has two students studying self-financed medical career.
At the end of 2014, 88 young Jamaicans were studying in Cuba; 79 out of them in careers in Medicine and the rest in others fields, including Sports and Physical Education.
On the other hand, in Jamaica, over 146 Cubans are presently providing their services in several bilateral cooperation programs, especially in health (94) and educational fields (47). Historically, since the start of Operation Miracle with Jamaica, 8290 surgeries have been performed, first in Cuba and since 2010 in Kingston; 67 619 patients have been attended.
An opportunity to master a new language
The Jamaican scholarship awardees present in this ceremony will be able to master a new language: Spanish. They will also be able to get to know the Cuban people and see our achievements and challenges.
You will have the opportunity to share with other young students from more than 30 countries, each of them with their own characteristics, traditions and cultures. You should learn to love one another despite differences.
To you, dear students, I’d like to say we do hope that, after completing your studies in Cuba, you will return to Jamaica ready to make a useful contribution to your beloved country’s development and to the well-being of Jamaicans, especially those who are the most needed. I join others in commending you and your parents and hope neither of you, students, will let us down!
In closing, I´d like to thank all those Jamaican institutions and organizations that have supported the Embassy in this important process, especially the representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and the Public Service (Scholarship and Assistance Unit) and the Jamaica-Cuba Friendship Association for their invaluable and devoted cooperation.
Let´s continue working together so that the longstanding friendship between Jamaica and Cuba continues to be strengthened in the coming months and years! I thank you.
Source: Cuban Embassy in Jamaica