DEPUTY PRESIDENT, JACOB ZUMA, ENDS CUBAN VISIT
Deputy President, Jacob Zuma, will tomorrow complete his high-level visit to Cuba where he had met with Cuban Vice-Presidents Mr Carlos Lage Davila, Mr Juan Almeida Bosque and Mr Esteban Lazo Hernandez. Vice-President Davila is Mr Zuma's counterpart as the leader of government business.
The Deputy President noted concerns raised by his Cuban counterparts about the state of relations between the United States and Cuba, which the Cubans said was preventing them from full global economic participation.
Exploratory discussions were also held with Ministers from Foreign Affairs; Economy and Planning; and Foreign Investment and Economic Co-operation, with the aim of identifying potential areas of further co-operation between Cuba and South Africa s well as to cement already existing ties.
Some of the existing agreements include a co-operation agreement between the National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) and the Cuban Olympic Committee relating to sports training, and agreements between the South African Ministry of Health and its Cuban counterpart.
The Deputy President expressed his gratitude to the Cubans for their selfless contribution to the upliftment of South Africans in the past and present. He noted in particular the health agreement which has resulted in 365 Cuban doctors working in rural South Africa, with 88 more due to follow shortly. The Deputy President also met representatives of 189 South African students currently studying medicine and sports science in Cuba.
In his capacity as the Chairperson of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC), the Deputy President and his delegation visited the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, and the Pedro Kouri Institute for Tropical Medicine where they shared South African/Cuban experiences on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and progress on research for an Aids vaccine.
A visit was also paid to the headquarters of the Cuban Peasants Association to explore their Rural Development Initiatives through farming co-operatives. The Deputy President heads South Africa's Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Strategy.
Although the Deputy President was in Cuba primarily on ANC business, his programme also included government business.
Contact: Lakela Kaunda on 09537 - 804316
Issued by: The Presidency, 28 October 2000