09/30/13- Prensa Latina (Habana) - Cuban Scientist Praises Role of Science in Cuba's Economy
By Jorge Petinaud
Moscow, Sep 30 (Prensa Latina) Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, scientific adviser
to the Cuban Council of State, said in this capital today that science and
technology will play an increasingly important role in updating the Cuban
Shortly before leaving Russia, after receiving an honorary doctorate from
Lomonosov University here in Moscow, Castro Diaz-Balart told Prensa Latina
that Cuba has 1,200,000 professional graduates.
The country has 68 universities, 120 research centers, almost 13,000
professionals with science doctorates, 20,000 with master's degrees, and
another 300 high level specialists, representing considerable potential, he
Life expectancy in Cuba is 78 years for men and 80 for women, the child
mortality rate is one of the world's lowest, as a result of more than five
decades of continual support from the State for this sector, the Cuban
science adviser said.
Other mentioned strengths were an incipient industry for exporting software
and an internationally competitive biotechnology industry, with
scientifically based high technology.
Castro Diaz-Balart said that prioritization of this area emerged from the
6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba and was confirmed in the
Economic and Social Policy Guidelines that comprise the country's new
Science and technology are key to ensuring the future of a nation with
scarce energy resources, an aging population and a declining birth rate, he
Cuban science is currently the object of a collective reanalysis, for
example, at the Academy of Sciences, where two important documents have
already been produced, Castro Diaz-Balart reported.
Their analyses are very critical, and very objective, dealing not only with
final results, but also with the massive achievements of the movement from
the Forum of Science and Technology, through the Youth Technical Brigades
or the Innovators Association, he said.
State policy granting continual support for more than 50 years in order to
develop science and technology has created a foundation that allows us to
look optimistically to the near future, the honorary professor stressed.
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