The Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities in Spain, Pedro Duque, signed on Monday in Havana with the head of Higher Education in Cuba, José Ramón Saborido, a framework agreement for cooperation between both countries in terms of universities.
"That there are doctorate scholarships in Spain, that there is continuity in an exchange program, both of scientists and students as well as of professors and doctoral students, between Cuba and Spain in the future" are, according to the Spanish minister, the main objectives of the memorandum of understanding signed with its counterpart in the historic Hotel Nacional in the central neighborhood of Vedado in the Cuban capital.
Duque concluded with this act the first of the two days of his agenda in Cuba, a country that visits for the first time at the invitation of Saborido himself.
With the memorandum of understanding for educational and scientific collaboration, university exchanges between Spain and Cuba "are organized more at the level of governments" since up to now they have been carried out "in a punctual and non-systematic way" between the different university centers, explained the Minister.
"First we are going to have this general framework and then we will have to fill it in with more specific agreements, for example joint doctorates that have been done so far in a punctual and non-systematic way," he said.
After landing in Havana on Sunday night, Duque's work schedule began early Monday with a meeting with the Vice President of Higher Education of the Caribbean country, Miriam Alpiza, followed by a meeting with rectors of the leading universities Cubans and a tour of the most emblematic of them, the University of Havana.
There he starred in a pleasant conversation with the general and exastronaut Arnaldo Tamayo, who went down in history in 1980 by becoming the first non-American American and the first African descendant to travel into space.
Duque was in 1998 the second Spanish to go up into space, although some consider him the first because Miguel López-Alegría, who did it three years before, was born in Spain but later acquired the American nationality.
The trip to Havana by the head of Science, Innovation and Universities comes after two years of rapprochement between Spain and Cuba, which crystallized in the visit to Havana of the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, in November of last year.
In addition, the state visit of the kings of Spain to Cuba is pending, which could occur at the end of this year and would be the first of its kind of a Spanish monarch to the Caribbean island, since Juan Carlos I went to the island two Sometimes although not on official travel.
(tagsToTranslate) Cuba (t) Spain (t) agreement (t) university (t) Duke