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Haiti's Preval Welcomes Cuban Medical Help

Haitian President-elect Rene Preval has praised Cuba's medical help for impoverished Haiti as he called for closer ties between the two Caribbean nations.

Mr. Preval made the remarks Thursday as he continued a visit to Cuba that included talks with President Fidel Castro. The incoming Haitian leader said Cuban doctors in his country have been involved in more than eight million consultations and have performed over 100,000 operations. He said the kind of assistance Haiti needs is what Cuba is providing.

Mr. Preval arrived Wednesday with a delegation that includes several members of his future government. He was elected in February and is due to take office next month.

Mr. Preval was Haitian president from 1996 to 2001. During that time, ties between Cuba and Haiti were warmer. But relations cooled after a U.S.-backed interim government was appointed to replace Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was ousted by a revolt in 2004.