Paul Harry Guichard, chargé de affaires at the Haitian embassy in Havana, comments on the strong friendship shared by the two countries. Photo: Granma

The relations of friendship and mutual respect shared by Cuba and Haiti were emphasized by Paul Harry Guichard, chargé de affaires at the Haitian embassy in Havana, during an interview with Granma.

Guichard conveyed his people's thanks for the help provided by Cuban doctors; literacy efforts using the "Yo, sí Puedo" method; and the training of Haitian professionals, in particular doctors; also mentioning the importance of several agreements signed by the two countries to promote economic development in his homeland.

"We recently inaugurated an aerial route between the two islands, with direct flights five times a week departing from Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and Camagüey," he noted, adding that another bilateral intergovernmental commission, to update agreements, should be taking place soon.
The diplomat said that Cuban medical staff have won the affection of Haitians, since they show so much love for the people by working in remote areas.

"In this relationship there is no prejudice, no racism. Sincere, fraternal interaction is what exists," he emphasized.
What bilateral agreements are currently in effect?

Our intention is to maintain the exchange in the area of heath. He renewed the tripartite agreement between Cuba, Haiti, and Norway, designed to provided finances from the European partner to guarantee medical attention in the south of Haiti.

Nine bilateral agreements are operational today in the areas of agriculture, education, the steel industry, and food processing.

The documents signed include the collaboration of Cuban specialists in the Haitian sugar sector, animal disease control efforts, the functioning of laboratories, sanitary inspection, and support for the development of agriculture.
What is your opinion of the racist, xenophobic statements made by President Trump regarding Haiti, Africa, and El Salvador?

These statements by the U.S. President show a lack of respect for the peoples of the Caribbean, Africans, and Latin Americans. Cuba is one of the countries that has maintained a consistent attitude of support for our nations and has rejected this racist, arrogant attitude of the U.S. head of state.

Many organizations, institutions, and governments have made statements on the issue, and I don't think a single person exists who is not indignant about such attitudes, or anyone who accepts these types of expressions."
Haiti is very important in the history of the Americas…

Haiti declared its independence from France January 1, 1804, with a great popular struggle, and later helped liberate other countries, expressing its solidarity with Simón Bolívar's idea of integration.

We know that many Haitians were part of the Mambi army in Cuba's wars of independence in the 19th century. And some 300 compatriots from my country even fought in the southern United States in what is called the war of the thirteen colonies, in the 18th century. That's why I consider Haiti a vanguard country.