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Cuban embassy farewells six scholarship awardees

The Cuban Government has provided scholarships for six Lao nationals to study in Cuba at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana, as well as law and agronomy, for the academic year 2019-2020.
A farewell ceremony for the scholarship awardees took place at the Embassy of Cuba last Friday evening with the Cuban Ambassador to Laos, Mr Pablo Antonio Rodríguez Vidal, Cuban diplomatic staff, students and government officials attending.
The ELAM scholarship awardees departed for Cuba on Sunday with the other two students to leave in the middle of September, according to a press release from the embassy. Ms Khairwarn Phommachack, Ms Thiensawun Thongsawut, Ms Youaxiong Xiong and Ms Somphavanh Ounlatmany will first study Spanish for one year and will then start their six-year medical degrees.
The two other students, Mr Vithawath Nabandith and Ms Sykham Siphakhoun, will embark on five-year law and agronomy degrees respectively after one year of studying Spanish. 
Cuba has granted several hundred scholarships to Lao nationals over the years with about 150 graduating from Cuban universities. They took degrees in medicine, law, economics, sports, engineering, architecture, veterinary science, and Spanish, amongst others specialities.
Today there are 26 Lao students in Cuba, and with the additional six will bring the total to 32.  
The Cuban ambassador dedicated the event to the late Cuban President Fidel Castro Ruz, the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, whose birthday was on August 13, and also to the founding anniversary on the same day of the Lao Front for National Development, to acknowledge its contribution to the development of Laos.
The ambassador said Fidel Castro was the supreme inspirer of the Cuban collaboration with other brother countries, as a fundamental part of the internationalism of the Cuban Revolution. He also established the Latin American School of Medicine, in 1998, fundamentally to train doctors from countries of the so-called “Third World”, as well as poor youth from developed countries.
Since its opening, more than 30,000 doctors have graduated from ELAM, coming from 117 nations where more than 100 ethnic groups are represented.


By Phomphong Laoin
(Latest Update August 20, 2019)


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