JIMMY CARTER: A GREAT PLEASURE TO VISIT THE CUBAN PEOPLE

Speaking with Havana´s Historian Eusebio Leal

lchirino | March 29, 2011
South Journal— In his second day in Cuba, former US president Jimmy Carter visited the Havana-based Belen Convent, accompanied by the city´s historian Eusebio Leal and Cuban government officials. He learned of the Belen community project which particularly assists local senior citizens.
In statements to reporters, Carter said they came here to visit the Cuban people and government representatives and that it was a pleasure for them visiting the people of Cuba. He expressed his wish for improved relations between Cuba and the United States based on these meetings.
Responding to a question about US citizen Alan Gross, Carter explained that they have talked with some people about the case, but that he did not come to get Gross out of the country.
The visitor toured the facilities in the convent like the rehabilitation and physiotherapy ward, the craftsmanship workshop, the cultural center and he also spoke with senior citizens who go to the Convent every day. He enjoyed Cuban tunes sung by the elderly.
Before leaving the convent, the former US president wrote in the guests´ book:  “A wonderful place for people of the same age as are we.”
Carter was accompanied by his wife Rosalynn, the president of the Carter Center Dr. John Hardman and by the director of the Program for the Americas of that Center, Jennifer McCoy.
The visitor and his companions arrived in Cuba on Monday, on the invitation of the Cuban government. He already visited the Jewish Community Center and he met with the Archbishop of Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega.
Jimmy Carter is expected to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro Tuesday afternoon.
SJ

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