Professor Dr Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, son of former president of the Republic of Cuba Dr Fidel Castro, delivered the feature address at a special lecture held at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine yesterday.
During the lecture, entitled “Global Challenges in Science and Innovation for Sustainable Development: Remarks from a Cuban Perspective,” Castro Diaz-Balart raised several issues pertaining to science and technology in the Caribbean.
“Oil and gas will be depleted within the next century or two, depending on the rate of extraction,” Castro Diaz-Balart said, adding that the challenge to produce enough food will also become greater.
This, he stated, is why science and technology is crucial.
Cuba, Castro Diaz-Balart added, is an important example of scientific and technological achievement in the region, pointing out that Cuba has one of the highest medical doctor ratios in the region, with an estimated 60,000 doctors.
Castro Diaz-Balart also stated that Cuba has 68 universities and 2.5 million people enrolled in schools across the country.
Professor Andy Knight, director of UWI's Institute of International Relations, in his closing remarks, thanked Diaz-Balart for coming and stated that the lecture would prove useful for the 20 UWI students who are scheduled to travel to Cuba for a week.