Cuba, Venezuela strengthen agri-food ties in face of sanctions
Havana, Mar 9 (efe-epa).- Cuba and Venezuela agreed on Tuesday to promote food sovereignty by expanding bilateral cooperation to the field of agri-food, which the governments of the countries say is one of the areas most affected by sanctions imposed by the United States.
The agreements were signed within the framework of the XXI Cuba-Venezuela Intergovernmental Commission held in Havana, headed by the Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez and Cuban Vice Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas.
Among the planned actions are the exchange of knowledge, the planting of cereals, vegetables and tubers, and initiatives in the livestock and fish farming sectors.
A bilateral cooperation project was also signed for the expansion and use in Venezuela of pastures and crops such as thitonia, mulberry and moringa.
After the signing of the agreements, Rodríguez said that the food sphere is one of the targets used to “blackmail” the governments of Cuba and Venezuela, for which she stressed the importance of having plans to face the socioeconomic difficulties caused by the “criminal blockade.”
Cabrisas affirmed that the agreement is part of the efforts to overcome the complex economic situation aggravated by the negative impact of the pandemic and the resurgence of the US embargo.
The shortage of food and the long queues to get it are one of the most serious effects of the deep crisis that affects Cuba, a country that until now imported 80 percent of the food it consumes.
This is the second trip to Cuba this year for Rodríguez, who in mid-January traveled to Havana to present the Anti-Blockade Law, an initiative of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to evade the economic sanctions of US.
Since 2001, the governments have maintained a broad cooperation agreement whereby Havana receives crude oil at preferential prices in exchange for the shipment to Venezuela of professional services, mainly doctors and teachers.
The fall in Venezuelan aid in recent years, the tightening of US economic sanctions and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted the serious crisis that Cuba is currently facing. EFE-EPA