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Cuban-Venezuelan cooperation projects are adapting to austere times, a Cuban official said during the 11th meeting of the Cuba-Venezuela intergovernmental commission at the Alba Hotel in Caracas.

The partner countries are “developing a decisive battle for the reduction of superfluous spending, for savings, efficiency, rational use of resources, planning, discipline and the expectation that the projects have a happy ending,” said Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas, who led the Cuban delegation.

No announcements about specific cutbacks or delays were made during the event. The most ambitious cooperation projects in Cuba include the expansion of existing refineries at Cienfuegos and Santiago, construction of a new refinery in Matanzas, development of a petrochemical hub around Cienfuegos, and construction of a ferronickel plant at Las Camariocas.

The meeting was “preceded by intense work,” Cabrisas said during the opening on Saturday. “This will strengthen the economic integration policy agreed between our countries.”

The periodic meetings are keeping track of bilateral agreements and joint ventures. During the current meeting, 11 roundtables discussed joint healthcare, food, agriculture, infrastructure, communications, science and technology projects, tracked the progress of joint ventures, and laid out the road mapof joint projects for 2011 and coming years.

The Venezuelan delegation is headed by Oil and Energy Minister Rafael Ramírez; it also includes Higher Education Minister Yadira Córdova, Tourism Minister Alejandro Fleming, Indigenous Population Minister Nicia Maldonado, Interior and Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami, Environment Minister Alejandro Hitcher, Housing Minister Farruco Sesto, and Transport and Communications Minister Francisco Garcés.

The Cuban delegation includes Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca, Communications Minister Medardo Díaz Toledo, Transport Minister César Ignacio Arocha, Light Industry Minister Damar del Carmen Maceo, Food Industry Minister María del Carmen Concepción, and Higher Education Minister Miguel Díaz-Canel.

 


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