Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate Says Cuban Medical Missions “Are Slavery” and Vows to End Them / 14ymedio


Apologies to our readers that this video is not subtitled. Before the shouts of “bravo” Lasso says, that the free healthcare system in Ecuador provided by the government should be in the hands of Ecuadorian doctors. His other statements are reported in the article.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio (with information from Diana Ramos), Quito, 17 March 2017 – Guillermo Lasso, a candidate for president of Ecuador, is against the Cuban medical missions in his country and promised to end them, should he triumph in the upcoming run-off election.

“We must end this slavery of one government negotiating with another that pays poverty-level wages for the services” provided by professionals. He also stressed that Cuban professionals “displace” Ecuadorians in their own country.

“In my government there will be no policy that persecutes any professional sector in Ecuador,” he said on Tuesday, during a visit to Luis Vernaza Hospital in Guayaquil, the candidate’s hometown.

On February 10, Movimiento X Cuba, a civil society group composed of Cuban health professionals based in Ecuador, asked the future president to end the Cuban medical presence there.

“We advocate that Cuban doctors be free and able to decide their own future, their country of residence, and have the freedom necessary to exercise such a dignified profession,” the movement said in a statement.

Some 600 Cuban doctors are working in Ecuador and the Ecuadorian government pays 2,700 dollars a month for each one. From this, the Cuban Ministry of Public Health pays individual doctors barely 800 dollars, with the rest going into the coffers of the state. Profits from this leasing out of medical and other professionals is one of the Cuban government’s largest source of revenue.

Acure, an association of pro-Castro Cubans in Ecuador, spoke out against the “malicious and provocative statement of Movimiento X Cuba” and insisted that doctors from the island have provided medical care “to more than four and a half million Ecuadorian patients,” emphasizing the provision of eye operations and kidney transplants.

“Cuba has trained, free of charge, more than 6,000 Ecuadorian specialists in its universities,” Acure said.

Dr. Daniel Medina, president of Movimiento X Cuba, who defines himself as an opponent of the Cuban government, asked for protection for “all migrants who seek freedom and flee totalitarian regimes like those in Cuba and Venezuela.”