Cuban academics and Harvard University’s scientific researchers are building bridges with information after an agreement, promising to collaborate on research projects, was signed by the international education ministers.
Harvard Vice Chancellor Mark C. Elliot met with representatives of the Ministry of Higher Education, MES, Saturday, including Cuban Vice Minister Aurora Fernandez and Dr. Jose Ramon Sborido Loidi.
"At Harvard, we are very proud of the work done in Cuba in terms of academic and research development," said Harvard’s Vice-Chancellor.
The understanding allows collaboration of scientific research, joint publications as well as post-graduate training programs and resembles a similar agreement which was signed in 2006 between Harvard and the University of Havana, Elliot said.
Though diplomacy between the two nations has been tense since U.S. President Donald Trump’s election, Minister Fernandez said, the expansion of education and relations with American universities and other academic institutions is the end goal.
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Former President Barack Obama’s decision to null the restrictions and sanctions implemented during the 50s’ Cold War was the beginning of a number of international agreements made between the two countries.
The monumental “thaw” opened avenues to collaborative initiatives in education, health, culture, the economy as well as the fight against crime, particularly drug trafficking and immigration.
However these developments were cut short after financial blockades and travel bans were reintroduced earlier this year by Trump during a spree of sanctions against a number of countries in both Latin America, Asia and the African continent.