Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/04/23/cuba-rescue-dont-tell-american-people
They quoted Che Guevara: “The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.”
Well I might have to make an exception to Che’s quote when it comes to Trump! My Nephew who spent some time in Cuba before Trump came into office would corroborate this excellent article by Medea.
Articles like this and others on Common Dreams, is why I have been donating monthly to them. Please help CD financially if you can. Thanks!
feeling rather stupid here, but in recent years didn’t Cuba develop some kind of successful treatment for lung cancer that it shared with a US company? whatever happened with that?
Until August of last year of the 372 doctors serving in the special indigenous health service (SESAI) in the Brazilian Amazon, something like 301 were Cuban doctors. Bolsonaro made short work of that. Mongabay set these as bullet points:
- Until recently, hundreds of Cuban doctors staffed many remote indigenous health facilities in the Brazilian Amazon and around the nation, an initiative funded by the More Doctors program set up by President Dilma Rousseff in 2013.
- But far-right President Jair Bolsonaro radically restructured the program, and Cuba — calling Bolsonaro’s demands unreasonable — pulled its doctors out.
- That withdrawal heavily impacted indigenous groups. Of the 372 doctors working within indigenous communities, 301 were Cuban. The Ministry of Health says 354 vacancies have since been filled by Brazilian doctors, but indigenous communities say many new doctors are unwilling to stay long in the remote posts.
- Bolsonaro has hindered rural health care in other ways: 13,000 indigenous health workers have remained unpaid since February or April, depending on the region, after the Brazilian Minister of Health stopped providing resources to the 8 NGOs contracted to provide health services to 34 Special Sanitary Indigenous Districts.
Rest of the story:
My understanding is that Bolsonaro has back-pedaled and asked Cuban doctors to stay.
Yes, for decades they’ve had an impressive medical system, the envy of the world in some ways.
I understand they’re relatively good on the environment as well.
Another inspiring and educational epistle from Medea Benjamin. Good reading.
The stellar educational and health services of Latin American School of Medicine are rightly highlighted, the Cuban “army of white coats.”
The Michael Moore movie Sicko has a segment showing NYC First Responders visiting Havana for treatments, and the joy they experience in the healing and warmth of the Cuban health professionals. “The truth is the truth,” as Bernie said.
The JFK encouragement also comes to mind, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”
An excellent article!
US actions against Cuba (and many other countries) has been shameful.
Bravissima for this Media! Viva Cuba Libre!
It is simply appalling how shabby and bought what passes for US “journalism” is today.
the guy who delivers our household heating oil is a fundamentalist Christian, a staunch Republican and a 2nd Amendment gun fanatic with a vast collection of weapons. We have always been good friends, even though he knows I’m a Marxist athiest. He and his wife took a vacation trip to Cuba last . He came back and told me he was amazed to find Cubans so poor and so happy with their lives. He said his wife said to him at one point in their trip, “This country is so poor. They really need to open up to US investment.” His reply astounded me. He said, “I told her, 'No! They live happier lives here than we do in the US with all our new cars, flat-screen TVs, internet, computers and video games. The last thing they need is to become like us! The US should just leave them alone.”
It was an amazingly honest and perceptive analysis of what he had seen there.
I laughed and said he was “sounding like a communist,” and he smiled and said, “Well, I’m just telling you what I saw.”
Another good example for people to consider: When the earthquake struck Haiti, the response of the US was incredibly slow. Before US doctors were sent there, the US first spent precious weeks as Haitians were dying and disease was spreading, loading supplies and troops on an aircraft carrier and other Navy vessels. Almost a month later, the Navy arrived and the first thing they did was take control of the airport, controlling all flights in and out. Then they sent in troops to set of control perimeters. Finally they brought in doctors. Meanwhile Cuba, which already had some 100 medical personnel in the country when the earthquake happened, went to the collapsed hospital in Port-au-Prince and set up operations in an undestroyed part of the building, if I remember right, and began immediately caring for the injured, doing required amputations of gangrenous limbs, and other major surgeries, and dispesing care to all comers. No Cuban troops were needed to “protect the doctors” who were clearly adored by the Haitian people. A Haitian-American photograppher/videographer friend who was down there at the time working as an assistant with a US TV news organization, says he was brought to tears watching the Cubans work, and was furious watching the slowness of the US response, which he said was mostly military. He said for some time, the only foreign doctors working in the country were Cuban and Israeli, both of whom simply came right in and went to it with what they had or in the case of the Israelis, what they equipment flew in with them.
The same was true in the Ebola epidemic. in the early days when it was spreading in West Africa, the US dawdled, preparing to send in tent hospitals. Weeks passed with nothing. Cubans were flown in immediately and began treating patients and teaching people in the stricken countries how to prevent the spread of the dreadful disease.
founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening(dot)net
Check out PBS Nova (season 47, episode 5) program Cuba’s Cancer Hope
Staying true to John Lennon’s view, imagine this attitude and approach to our lives, our world being contagious, infecting our unhealthy system with a restorative vibrancy.
Yes, call me a dreamer, but I know I’m not the only one.
I wish there’d be more articles here at CD of this caliber and content. I like being informed of what IS working in this world rather than having inflammatory opinions thrown in my face to stir my emotions. “So-and-so slams so-and-so” I’m not interested in what she said he said about what they said. Too much like gossip talk to me.
Excellent reply…too much muckraking and finger pointing gets old. I support Common Dreams, but I also agree with your post…thanks.
The Cuban doctors are already gone, but there were quite a number who had married Brazilians and they stayed behind. My understanding is that Bolsonaro has enlisted those Cubans to help.
What beautiful stories Dave. I love the response of your friend. Re Haiti, I was there right after the earthquake, volunteering, and saw EXACTLY what you said. Israelis and Cubans set up right away, US response was slow and militarized. Ugh. I hope one day we’ll have a government that cares about its own people and the rest of the world! Best, Medea
Honored to see your response. Long time Code Pink member, keep up the important work.
Medea, ME TOO! Appreciate all your efforts and Code Pinks. Keep up the good fight!
…as well as being criminal and inhumane.
Yes - the most powerful of Lennon’s words " I’m not the only one. "