Director of the Centre for??Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology,??Luis Herrera-Martinez (right), makes a presentation to Prime Minister David Thompson as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Maxine McClean and Cuba’s Minister of Science and Technology, Jose Miyar Baruecco look on.
Prime Minister David Thompson touched down in Havana, Cuba, after midnight on Sunday for his first official visit to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean state. Mr. Thompson was met by Cuba???s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alejandro Gonzalez, and this country???s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Maxine McClean, who was already there.??
The Prime Minister began his three day visit, of what will be a packed programme, by laying a wreath in a ceremony at the Monument to the National Hero, Jose Marti, and touring the Jose Marti Memorial in Revolution Square.??
Mr. Thompson, Minister McClean and the Barbados delegation also visited the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology where they were met by Cuba???s Minister of Science Technology and the Environment, Jose Muya Baruecco. The Centre???s Director, Luis Herrera-Martinez, made a presentation on biotechnology in Cuba, the areas of research undertaken and the wide range of products the institution has developed over the last 30 years.????
Discussions at the Centre focused on areas of interest to Barbados and possible cooperation in diabetes and cancer research, as well as in biotechnology as it relates to output in agriculture. Following the tour of the institution???s laboratories, Prime Minister Thompson lauded the contribution that it has made to biotechnology which has put Cuba in the forefront of this industry. Adding that he was impressed with the excellent work being done by their scientists, the Prime Minister said that ???Barbados stands in solidarity with the people of Cuba in the development of medical science???.
He also held talks today with Cuba???s First Vice President, Hose Ramon Machado Bentura.
??Over the next couple of days, the Prime Minister will have discussions with President Raul Castro, meet with Barbadian Students studying in Cuba and descendants of Barbadians living there.