Bolivia's education minister says a team of Cuban specialists has arrived to help the new government launch a campaign to eradicate illiteracy in the poor Andean nation.

In a newspaper interview in La Prensa Felix Patzi said the 24-member Cuban team arrived Monday and will immediately begin helping government officials with the campaign.

Patzi said the job is "titanic" and its goal is to reduce illiteracy to "zero." He said about 13 percent of Bolivia's population cannot read or write, and about 70 percent of the nation's illiterates are in rural areas.

He told the newspaper that the Cuban specialists will offer advice but Bolivian officials will be in charge of the content of the educational materials.

Bolivia's new socialist president, Evo Morales, is a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Some information for this report provided by AP.