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  • A SADR-administered refugee camp in Western Sahara. Cuba has long supported SADR, including sponsoring education initiatives for refugees.

    A SADR-administered refugee camp in Western Sahara. Cuba has long supported SADR, including sponsoring education initiatives for refugees. | Photo: Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/ THKW

Published 10 September 2015

Cuba says it will continue providing support to education initiatives in Sahrawi refugee camps.

Cuba's acting Education Minister Cira Pineiro Alonso met with Sahrawi Ambassador Malainin Etgana Wednesday, and vowed to deepen education ties with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

The meeting in Havana, Cuba focused on Cuban investment in education in SADR, including the Simon Bolivar high school. Supported by both Cuba and Venezuela, the institution was the first high school to be constructed in SADR-administered Western Sahara.

According to SADR media, Piniero said Cuba is willing to continue investing in the school, along with other joint projects in Western Sahara.

A sparsely inhabited territory in North Africa, most of Western Sahara has been occupied by the Moroccan military since 1975. A thin strip of the territory's east is administered by the Indigenous government, SADR. Most of SADR-administered Western Sahara is uninhabited desert, with the population almost entirely living in refugee camps huddled near the Algerian border. The Simon Bolivar school is located in one such camp.

Cuba has long supported Western Saharan independence from Morocco, and backed SADR as the legitimate government of the Indigenous Sahrawi people.

Outside countries like Cuba, the drawn out political crisis in Western Sahara rarely hits international headlines, largely due to a media blackout in the disputed territory by Morocco's occupation forces, which control around 80 percent of the territory.

Read teleSUR's investigation on the media blackout here.

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