HAVANA – Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, who is on a three-day official visit to Cuba, was awarded an honorary doctorate Friday by the University of Havana.
Correa said it was a great privilege to receive that distinction in Cuba, the country of Fidel Castro and the site of the triumph of the Western Hemisphere’s first socialist revolution.
The leftist president said the Cuban Revolution had been a source of inspiration for progressive movements in Latin America and around the world.
Speaking of his tenure as president, he said it had been “a decade of dreams fulfilled, of extraordinary achievements in the economic, social and political realms.”
Correa added that the South American country currently had the best economic indicators in the region.
“Today Ecuador is a country on the move, with political stability. In 10 years, we’ve had just one president and (the socialist political movement he leads has) won 14 consecutive elections,” the Ecuadorian president said.
Correa was conferred the honor in an official ceremony at the University of Havana that was attended by Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel and other dignitaries, including Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, the oldest son of the late revolutionary leader.
The Ecuadorian leader received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universidad Catolica de Santiago de Guayaquil, a private institution in Ecuador; and then earned a master’s degree and a PhD in that field from Belgium’s Catholic University of Leuven and the University of Illinois in the United States.
Correa was scheduled to meet Friday with Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, who will award him the Order of Jose Marti, the Communist-ruled island’s highest honor.
He will be succeeded on May 24 by Lenin Moreno, who was the presidential nominee of Correa’s Alianza Pais movement in this year’s elections.