"I want to thank Fidel, Raúl and the Cuban government and people for their contribution
in developing sectors such education and healthcare in east Timor"
José Manuel Ramos-Horta
The President of the Democratic Republic of East Timor and Nobel Peace laureate José Manuel Ramos-Horta arrived in Cuba on Thursday to pay an official visit to the island at the invitation of the Cuban government.
Welcoming the visitor at the José Martí International Airport was the Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcos Rodríguez. Following, the distinguished visitor thanked Fidel, Raúl and the Cuban government and people for selflessly helping the Southeast Asian nation boost areas such as healthcare and education.
During his visit, Ramos-Horta will hold official talks with the Cuban President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Army General Raúl Castro. The program of activities also includes a meeting with relatives of the five Cuban antiterrorists being unjustly held in US jails for more than a decade.
Today, the Timorese president will place a wreath at the monument of National Hero José Marti at the Revolution Square, and will tour the memorial devoted to the lifework of the Cuban independence hero. Accompanying him are Timorese Foreign Affairs Minister Zacarías Albano de Costa, Timorese Ambassador to Cuba Egidio de Jesús and other officials.
Cuba and East Timor established diplomatic relations on May 20, 2002, the same day the Asian nation officially declared its independence.
Over the years, Cuban collaborators have fought against illiteracy in that nation, schooling an estimated 46,000 Timorese via the Yo, sí puedo teaching method. In addition, some 600 young people from that nation have graduated from the Havana-based Latin American School of Medicine; and currently, some 219 Cuban doctors are providing free medical assistance in the Asian nation.
> Fidel meets with President of East Timor