Seychelles to benefit from Cuba’s culture expertise


Minister MeritonCommunity Development, Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Vincent Meriton said this on Wednesday afternoon in an interview with the press following his recent working visit to the Caribbean island.

Mr Meriton, who was there at the invitation of the Cuban government, said he discussed issues of cooperation covered in the collaboration agreement between the national libraries of the two countries, and also in the protocol of cultural exchange and joint commission agreement in the cultural field.

Through Cuban Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Marcos Rodriguez Costa, he thanked the Cuban government and people for supporting Seychelles in its socio-economic development.

Mr Meriton noted that Mr Costa expressed the wish of the Cuban government to receive President James Michel in Cuba later this year.

In his meeting with Cuban Culture Minister Abel Prieto, whom he has invited to visit Seychelles for the 25th Festival Kreol in October 2010, Mr Meriton made a request for training in museum science and archives studies as there is a need to digitise archive documents so as to preserve the heritage of institutions and the country in general.

“We discussed the possibility of two Seychellois being trained at degree level in museum science and archives studies, in addition to short skills upgrading courses in Cuba. Consideration will be given for 2010,” he said.

Scholarships in medicine were also discussed, as well as the possibility of Victoria hospital being turned into a university hospital under an agreement with a corresponding institution.

Mr Meriton also visited the Young Communist League office and held talks with its international relations director, Giovanni Barrueta, on a possible partnership with Parti Lepep’s youth movement or with the National Youth Council.

A young Cuban art instructor is to train local art instructors and youth workers on making masks, costumes and accessories for carnivals using cheap, natural and locally available materials in preparation for the 25th Festival Kreol.

In the dance discipline, a Cuban expert will be sent here to assess our needs and teach Latin dance styles like casino, salsa and merengue.

“It will be a good addition to the already vast and interesting repertoire of dance styles that exist here. We have to stay connected with changes happening in the world,” said Mr Meriton.

The minister – who also went on a guided tour of the Anti-Imperialist Tribune, visited the Artnos Community Project, La Colmenita Child Theatre Company, School of Dance and House of Africa, and attended an artistic show by the Ballet Academies at the Mella Theatre – said Cuba’s success in community development is a continuing process.

“It did not happen overnight. It permeates all levels and groups in society,” he said.
“It starts before childbirth and lasts throughout a lifetime. It has resulted in the community taking ownership of projects and programmes and finding solutions to its problems.

“Today, it continues to address emerging issues on a daily basis and in a systematic and scientific manner.”

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