Friday, February 13, 2009

Chilean President Gives Key Lecture at Havana University

AIN/Photo Sergio Abel Reyes

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 12 (ACN) Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile, gave a key lecture today at the Havana University’s main hall, in which she stressed her government’s decision to prioritize social development as part of ongoing transformations in her country.

Cuban Parliament’s President, Ricardo Alarcon and Cuba’s Vice-President Esteban Lazo attended the lecture.

President Bachelet said that her country is currently in a very different situation from that of 1990, while statistics on development show improvement despite prevailing social inequalities which are being addressed.

“Growing to include and including to grow, is a premise in my government’s agenda and quality and equity are words of first order,” underscored the Chilean leader.

Consolidating the social security system, achieving total equality of opportunities for men and women and boosting education were the aspects Bachelet pointed out among Chile’s priorities, a country that has reduced the poverty levels as it continues to work hard in favor of the elderly and retired people.

Among the achievements of the past few years, the Chilean President stressed the new and efficient health programs underway in her country, like the fact that 4 in every 10 youths reach higher education, with 70 percent of them being the first ones in their families to attend university.

Bachelet also referred to the measures being taken by her government to face the current world crisis in an effort to prevent the poorest and weakest Chilean people from carrying such a burden upon their shoulders.

Bilateral relations between Cuba and Chile and the friendship that united former Chilean President Salvador Allende to Cuba were recurrent topics in her lecture.

Bachellet received the Havana University 280th Anniversary plaque from Rector Ruben Zardoya for her contributions to Latin America integration. She also signed the University’s illustrious guest’s book.

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