“We return victorious. We do not feel defeated. We come with our heads held high, with our mission accomplished, because no coup, no regime that may take charge of Bolivia’s fate, can erase our impact”
These past few days, doctors lending their services in Bolivia and Ecuador have returned to the homeland, leaving behind their patients, families with few resources, but very grateful to those who treated their ailments, living as neighbors in their communities.
“We have lived days of deep sadness, of harassment, of physical mistreatment,” said Dr. Nirza García Valdés, a General Surgery specialist, who worked in the Bolivian department of Santa Cruz, referring to the period immediately following the coup against President Evo Morales Ayma.
“But even in the moments of greatest danger, we did not weaken. We stayed in our positions until the last moment, supporting the health of the sister Bolivian people until it was no longer possible to continue,” said García, a native of Bayamo, in the province of Granma.
“We return victorious. We do not feel defeated. We come with our heads held high, with our mission accomplished, because no coup, nor any regime that may take charge of Bolivia’s fate, can erase our impact.
“The lives saved are there, the grateful patients are there, and the results achieved by Cuba and its international collaboration will always be there.”
Alfredo Escobar Bernal, gastroenterologist, thanked the Cuban government for not abandoning brigade members to suffer the consequences of the coup in Bolivia on their own. Continue reading →
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel highlighted on Monday the international interest in trade with his country despite the blockade imposed by the United States.
We inaugurate this day #FIHAV2018 as an expression of #SomosContinuity of the ideas of #FidelCastro. The international interest in the trade with Cuba is ratified in spite of the blockade, Diaz-Canel expressed on Twitter after the opening of the 36th edition of the International Fair of Havana (FIHAV 2018).
The Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, said at the opening ceremony that more than 24,000 square meters make up the exhibition area, which confirms the growing interest of foreign companies to establish business with the island.
(P. L) Cuba is a relevant example of how much it can be done in favor of South-South cooperation, today said ECLAc”s executive secretary, Alicia Barcena, when she inaugurated a meeting of the United Nations” agency. Continue reading →
Cuban student organizations began today a world message action through Twitter, in which youth movements from the region are participating, with the objective of stating the work of civil society in Cuba. Continue reading →
States of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) will come together to denounce attempts to intervene and interfere in the region. The Summit, being held at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, and presided by the country’s President Nicolás Maduro, will serve as a platform from which to demonstrate to the world, regional unity and support for Venezuela. The encounter will see members of the integration mechanism reiterate their vehement rejection of U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies toward the region, above all a return to the Monroe Doctrine – a centuries old instrument promoting U.S. intervention in Latin America – as well as those of the right wing and their allies on the continent. Member-states will also reaffirm their solidarity with Venezuela, hosting the event, and condemn interference in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian nation by a group of other countries from the region. Members are also set to express their objection to the decision to rescind Venezuela’s invitation to the Eighth Summit of the Americas, set to be held in Lima, Peru, as it goes against the aims and principles of the United Nations Charter and Proclamation of Latin America as a Zone of Peace, signed in Havana in 2014, during the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. Continue reading →
A Cuban internationalist doctor heading a medical center in Miranda talks about the achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution which, despite facing a non-conventional war, continues to resist
Venezuela.— The heat was stifling at the Manguito Siete High-Tech Medical Center (CAT), in Paz Castillo municipality, located in the western part of this state. But it was also very peaceful. At this facility designed by the Bolivarian Revolution to conduct important tests on patients who require a speedy diagnosis, Dr. Rogelio Enrique Suárez González, a 50-year-old general practitioner, welcomed us alongside his colleagues.
Rogelio, from the province of Camagüey, heads this group of Cuban collaborators, here to share their invaluable knowledge. He has many memories to share regarding his various internationalist missions. This is his second time in Venezuela, and between 2006 and 2008 he worked in a Miracle Mission clinic in Honduras, the first inaugurated by Cuba in that Central American country.
As Rogelio explained, in Honduras he was shocked by the difficulty in accessing health services, and the number of children living in extreme poverty, unable to attend school. “One thinks a great deal about what our Revolution has done for health and education. It is an aspect that further motivates us regarding our duty to preserve the beautiful things that we have.”
However, his time in the Central American country also proved to be a wonderful experience: many people with cataracts, whose vision was poor or severely impaired, recovered their sight. This miracle was provided free of charge for all those in need.
Up to 70 Honduran patients per day were served by this mission. In two years, more than 5,000 surgeries were performed. Rogelio noted that many of the patients whose vision was restored maintain contact with their doctors.
This is your second experience in Venezuela, what does this stage mean?
We have arrived here at a very important, intense time. The Bolivarian Revolution endures, experiencing many changes since the death of Comandante Hugo Chávez. We are here to maintain what he and Comandante en Jefe Fidel created through the Cuba-Venezuela Agreement in the field of health.
The centers in which we work are located where the population most needs them. We are called on, together with Venezuelans, to help residents recover their health. We have to care for children, the most vulnerable, follow pregnancies. Thus, with the passage of time, solidarity is strengthened, and the gratitude of all the people treated increases.
Have you always worked in the CAT?
I started in a doctor’s office. It was a magnificent stage because I was in direct contact with patients, day after day. It was like returning to the roots, to the beautiful role of the family doctor. It was very good to sense the appreciation of the patients who were thoroughly examined. We treated people in need even outside working hours.
Is there a particular story you recall from your time at the local doctor’s office?
I can’t forget a nephrotic syndrome patient, whom we diagnosed as such and began to follow. We helped him as much as possible, but he needed more specialized treatment in other health institutions in the country. At that point his condition began to worsen, but fortunately he is alive. He has been receiving hemodialysis for two years now. He is extremely grateful to us and to the Cuban Revolution. If he had not been diagnosed in time, he would not have survived. We also restored his vision.
You’ve made many friends here, right?
Many thank you constantly. Every time we need help they reach out to us, be it in everyday life or at work. That is the solidarity that inspires Cuban medicine, which has no borders and makes no distinction between human beings.
Each of our collaborators in the land of Bolivar does great work…
Definitely. In the end, when you are working in any of the health structures that Venezuela has, the work is as a team; we are all cogs in a machine, and for it to work perfectly, we must all make the maximum effort in the area we are responsible for, so that the patient, when he leaves, does so satisfied with the response, with the service we offer.
Honduras left its mark on you. What will you take way from your experience in Venezuela?
First, a greater commitment to Cuba and to Fidel’s ideas, which translates into a commitment to maintain all the achievements of our Revolution, including Public Health. This is no easy task because there will be increasing challenges for our Revolution.
The other thing that marks us is that we have helped to form new generations of revolutionaries. In all the places where we have been, we have also taught, which has helped many professionals grow, including us. Wherever we go, we must leave behind people to continue the work we started.
The Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba expressed its “permanent willingness to continue working with corresponding U.S. entities and companies.”
Following the U.S. government‘s recent change in policy toward the country, the Cuban institution expressed its commitment to facilitating the promotion of business opportunities on the island, according to a statement published July 3, on its website.
The text also conveys the entity’s hope that U.S. companies “cease to be hostages of an unjust policy, contrary to international law and rejected by the entire world.”
It goes on to note that last June 16, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a policy directive entitled “National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening U.S. Policy toward Cuba,” and revoked the Presidential Policy Directive, “Normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba,” issued by President Obama on October 14, 2016.
Many people will never hear about how at the end of 2016, 38 medical professionals from Cuba’s Henry Reeve Brigade returned home after more than two tireless months of treating Haitians. They were sent to lend support to Cuba’s permanent medical teams in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
Following the death of 90-year-old revolutionary Fidel Castro on Nov. 25, 2016 corporate media has been fixated on depicting Fidel as the mastermind of a two-dimensional “dictatorial regime.” For those with a three-dimensional perspective, however, Fidel Castro’s death provides an opportunity to celebrate victories from the 56 years of the Cuban Revolution for which many people around the world are profoundly grateful and even owe their lives.
“Good God, Cuba has done so much for Haiti!” said Ivon Rebelisa, a 46-year-old Haitian from Semillera, Artibonite department working on a farm as a day laborer in the Dominican Republic. “Several of my neighbors were treated successfully for cholera in [the city of] Gonaive by Cuban doctors. Others who didn’t make it to the Cuban clinic in time, my cousin and his wife, both died. The Cubans taught us how to avoid contagion, about frequently washing our hands, boiling or treating water, about not eating street food that had not been reheated enough.”
In 1999 Cuba founded the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) and offered 10,000 scholarships to students “in countries where Cuban medical teams were assisting the local health systems…. The idea behind the ELAM is for graduates to eventually replace the Cuban doctors in their countries,” according to MEDICC, a non-profit which promotes Cuba’s public health program.
The ELAM currently has 19,550 students from 110 countries, making it one of the largest medical schools in the world. All students receive a full scholarship. The ELAM includes the US in its outreach, among youth aspiring to become doctors from the ranks of the “global south” within the north. More than 100 US students have attended the ELAM for free, in exchange for a non-binding promise to serve low-income communities for two years upon their return.