In a beautiful, fraternal, and humane gesture, the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, arrived this morning in Cuba to pay a visit to comrade Fidel.  He was welcomed at the International Airport “José Martí” by Army General Raúl Castro and other leaders of our Party and Government.


Since the very first moments when our Commander in Chief fell ill, Evo had expressed his wishes to visit him, and today he could finally accomplish his purpose, on a date of great symbolism for all Latin Americans, the 191st anniversary of the signing by Bolivar of his “Letter of Jamaica”, an anticipated appeal to the unity of our peoples.


For almost two hours, the leaders of Cuba and Bolivia shared an ambiance of extraordinary friendship.  Evo expressed how much the Bolivian people love Fidel and added that in his country, it is said that “Fidel has not fallen ill, that he is just repairing himself”.


During the exchange, the Bolivian President expressed his deep appreciation for the work of the Cuban medical brigade in his country and the benefits brought by Operation Miracle to that sister nation.


A Cuban medical brigade, made up by 1,661 members, including 27 Bolivian youths who recently graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine is working in all 9 districts of Bolivia and in 109 out of 112 provinces.  More than 1 million 400 thousand patients have been assisted and 2,088 lives have been saved.


Nineteen of the twenty Comprehensive Diagnosis Centers and seven Ophthalmology Centers with 14 surgical positions, donated by Cuba to the sister nation of Bolivia, are already operational.  More than 30,000 Bolivian patients have already undergone eye surgery in these facilities.


Evo and Fidel also discussed the progress of the Literacy Campaign in Bolivia using the Cuban method “Yes, I can”.  A total of 7,145 people have already graduated, and almost 200,000 have enrolled at some 10,000 literacy stations.  Preparations are under way to start the literacy campaign in the Aymara language as from October.


The Bolivian President also explained the transformations taking place in his country, specially the work being done by the Constitutive Assembly.


During the fraternal meeting, Evo presented Fidel with a wooden sculpture that represents an Aymara Indian, bearing the following legend:  “To Commander Fidel Castro, for his 80 revolutionary years of life, from the people and the government of Bolivia”.


At the end of his emotional meeting with the Commander in Chief, the Bolivian President confirmed his attendance to the Non-Aligned Summit to be held in Havana next week.


Afterwards, Evo and his cabinet minister had lunch with Raúl, Lage, Felipe, and the Cuban ambassador to Bolivia.


In the afternoon, the Bolivian president met with 208 Bolivian youths from the Social Workers’ Training School.  In Cuba, there are also 4,289 Bolivians who are studying at or are preparing to enter the School of Medicine, in addition to the 491 who are already studying in the Latin American School of Medicine at different levels. The youths received Evo with extraordinary enthusiasm.


Later in the afternoon he met again with Raúl at the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and after a second exchange they left for "José Martí" International Airport.  At 6:48 pm Evo and his delegation were seen off by Raúl, Lage and Felipe.


Fidel is of the view that Evo is an extremely intelligent and exceptional leader who knows with an almost mathematical precision what needs to be done in Bolivia.