A Mexican Senator Denounces Payment of 13 Million Dollars to Cuba for ‘False Doctors’

The Government of Mexico said at the time that the first group of Cuban doctors arrived in April 2020. (Collage)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 20 September 2021 — The coordinator in the Mexican Senate of the opposition National Action Party (PAN), Julen Rementería, denounced this Monday that the highest authorities of Mexico and Cuba “orchestrated a fraud” of 255,873,177 million pesos (about 12,692,940 million dollars ) to the detriment of the Mexican Health budget by hiring 585 “untitled” doctors from the Island to treat covid-19 patients.

This is the group of healthworkers imported in April 2020, as the Mexican authorities argued at the time, to help fight the covid-19 pandemic, raised suspicions from the beginning. On the one hand, due to the lack of transparency of the agreement between both countries and, on the other, due to the apparent lack of training of Cubans, denounced by various medical associations in Mexico.

In a long thread on his Twitter account, headed by the title “Cubagate”, Rementería released an investigation that, he says, took six months, and which reveals that the Mexican government hired what he calls “false doctors” with the consent of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the head of government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

The PAN senator recalls that on April 21, 2020, in the “crisis of the pandemic”, the federal government transferred to Mexico City, through the Institute of Health for Well-being, Insabi, a sum of 135,875,081 million pesos “to help it in the covid crisis.”

Three days later, Rementería continues, the government of Mexico City signed with “the Cuban dictatorship” two “biannual agreements”: one, for the exact value of that transfer and another for 103,638,266. “Both are aimed at hiring ’Cuban doctors’ to help in Mexican public hospitals,” says the senator.

In both “biannual agreements,” the thread continues, “the Cuban Ministry of Health is committed to guaranteeing that the personnel sent to Mexico have full capacity and experience. According to them, they say they have the documentation that certifies as professionals the personnel sent to our country.”

CubaGate investigation document published by Senator Julen Rementería. (Twitter / @ julenrementeria)

The documents presented by Rementería show that, as a minimum, the public institutions involved in the agreement — Insabi, the government of Mexico City, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of the Navy, the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) and the Institute of Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE) — they did not demand any title from Cuban health workers, claiming that the responsibility for this lies “from the Cuban Ministry of Health.”

“The IMSS accepted foreign people as ’doctors’ without corroborating that they were accredited and put them to treat covid patients in the middle of the pandemic,” accuses the opponent.

In this regard, Rementería says that they consulted the National Institute of Migration and the Ministry of the Interior, and they responded that it was not their competence. “In other words, the authority in charge of controlling the migratory flow to Mexico, allowed 585 people to enter, without knowing who they are or what they are coming to.”

In September 2020, the LatinUs portal already revealed that imported doctors worked undocumented, showing that there was no evidence of immigration permits or entry as “visitors.”

“How many Mexicans have died at the hands of these false doctors?” Rementería asks in his thread, noting that each of them cost 437,390 pesos out of the taxpayers’ pocket (about $21,700), while a Mexican doctor earns in the IMSS 17,000 pesos a month (about 843 dollars) “and they have them without the tools to work.”

During his investigation, Rementería tried to find out what documents accredited the professional training of the health workers and the conditions imposed by the Cuban government in the contract. (Twitter / @ julenrementeria)

That money, asserts the PAN senator, showing documents that prove it, did not go to the “supposed doctors,” but “to the Cuban dictatorship,” since the transfers were made to the regime’s official accounts.

“This doesn’t stop here,” announces Rementería. “We want the records of the patients treated by these false doctors. We want to know how many Mexicans died as a result of this fraud. We want compensation for the families of the victims of this fraud. We want those responsible to answer to the law.”

The investigation presented by the head of the PAN in the Senate does not refer to the almost 200 Cuban health workers who were stationed in Veracruz on the same dates as the 585 in Mexico City or the 500 they sent in December, about whose spending and titles nothing is known.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.