Mexico Finances the Cuban Dictatorship by Paying So-Called Doctors Inflated Salaries

The leader of the conservative opposition details his accusations against López Obrador´s Government.

Mexican Senator Julen Rementería also criticized the hardships experienced by the Health sector/ Courtesy of Senator Rementería’s office.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mexico, May 19, 2024 — The Government of Mexico is secretly financing the Cuban regime through the importing of doctors since the COVID-19 pandemic, according the leader of the National Action Party (PAN in Spanish) in the Senate, Julen Rementería, speaking on Wednesday.

According to the data provided by the leader of the main opposition party in the Upper House, the sponsorship is achieved thanks to the inflation of the salaries granted to Cubans hired in Mexico under the Health system payroll. He suggested that this employment relationship could be a facade to carry out other activities in the country since there are no documents that support the Cubans’ medical training.

The Cuban government is “paid up to 144,000 Mexican pesos (approximately USD 8,734) per month for each person who comes from Cuba because we cannot even say that they are doctors because they do not prove it with any document. What lies behind it? Well, the financing, from Mexico to a dictatorship, to that of the island of Cuba,” he added at a press conference. continue reading

An investigation by 14ymedio revealed in February 2023 that the Government of the Island will pocket USD $2,042 per month for each specialist and USD $1,722 for the services of a general practitioner

The Veracruz senator harshly criticized the visit of Zoé Robledo, director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security, to Havana, where on May 13 he held a meeting with President Miguel Díaz-Canel to “strengthen health cooperation.” That commitment is interpreted as an attempt to reach the goal of 1,200 doctors agreed with Havana – 768 Cubans have arrived so far – before the end of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s six-year presidential term in four months.

Rementería expressed his disagreement with this announcement after considering that “they are taking away a salary from Mexican doctors” without, in his opinion, being transparent about the reason for the decision ordered by the nation’s president himself, after making an agreement with the Cuban regime. “There are 51,000 Mexican doctors who are unemployed, and are we going to ask Cuba for doctors?” he reproached.

14ymedio documented last April how Mexican doctors belonging to the Health Institute for Welfare were fired before the arrival of a group of colleagues from Cuba. The island’s health workers were assigned to establish a base on the mountain of Guerrero, which was a stronghold of the guerrillas in the 1970s and currently faces a growing wave of insecurity with cartels, such as the Familia Michoacana or Guerreros Unidos, fighting over drug routes with bloodshed and fire.

Rementería urged López Obrador’s Administration to curb the importing of Cuban doctors, especially because so far neither of the two governments has publicly explained their employment situation. Nor has it responded to accusations of practicing a form of “modern slavery,” according to reports published by several organizations, such as Prisoners Defenders, which point to the withholding by the authorities in Havana of up to 90% of the salaries allegedly paid to its aid workers.

The PAN member’s denunciations against the alleged financing of the Cuban regime come just a few days after the opposition candidate for the Presidency, Xóchitl Gálvez, promised to cancel the bilateral agreement should she win the elections on June 2.

Translated by LAR

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.

Nine-Years in Prison for the Cuban Who Wrote ‘Diaz-Canel Motherfucker’ on a Wall

Jorge Luis Boada Valdés, for whom the Prosecutor’s Office requested a 15 year sentence, must spend at least half of the sentence in prison

Jorge Luis Boada Valdés has continued to make protest graffiti in prison. /Courtesy

14ymedio bigger
14ymedio, Madrid, 7 May 2024 — Jorge Luis Boada Valdés’ should have been sentenced last November for having painted “Díaz-Canel, motherfucker” on three occasions, on a wall in the Havana neighborhood of Lawton, but the wait has been extended for half a year. The Provincial Court of Havana sentenced the young man to nine years in prison for the crimes of enemy propaganda and other acts against State Security.

The family was informed about the sentence on Saturday, Jorge Boada, the prisoner’s father, told Diario de Cuba. “This Saturday we finally learned about the sentence, which is four and a half years of confinement and another four and a half on the street, the latter in case my son behaves well in prison. I believe he should not be in prison for what he did, but at least his sentence is not 15 years, as the Prosecutor’s Office requested,” he told the independent media.

Boada was arrested in February 2022 after receiving a summons for writing graffiti with the slogan “Díaz-Canel, motherfucker” on several occasions. In addition, the young man took photos of his actions and posted them on his social networks. Initially, he was taken to the State Security headquarters Villa Marista, where he again wrote sentences against the Government. Later he was transferred to Valle Grande, where he was seen somewhere in the prison with a sheet reading ’Patria y vida’ [Homeland and Life], which caused him to be taken to a punishment cell.

His family stated from the beginning that the young man – who studied in a “special school”– did not have “the mental capacity” to understand the acts he committed. The psychiatric expert report carried out for the trial, however, concluded that he did have criminal responsibility. continue reading

Boada’s family, which has described to the independent press the harassment suffered by the boy in prison, also warned that Jorge Luis suffers from epilepsy and requires constant medication, which is hard to sustain in prison, where the regime does not treat inmates appropriately.

In the trial, held last November 2023, two other people were indicted, Luis Andrés Domínguez Sardiñas, 47, and Yohan Carlos Terán Izquierdo, 25.

The Prosecutor’s Office alleged in its indictment that Domínguez intended to create “an environment of destabilization of the internal order and the country’s security”

The Prosecutor’s Office alleged in its indictment that Domínguez intended to create “an environment of destabilization of internal order and the country’s security,” calling for protests after the demonstrations of 11 July 2021.

Meanwhile, two “influential counterrevolutionaries” living abroad allegedly promised Boada and Domínguez to send them “rubber bands” to make slingshots, “alcohol to make incendiary devices,” spray to paint posters and perform other “actions of civil disobedience.”

The letter, to which the Spanish agency EFE had access, did not indicate whether the money and material were sent. During the trial, several neighborhoods in Havana were militarized to prevent popular protests, including Santos Suárez and La Víbora. In addition, other neighborhoods such as Luyanó suffered communication and internet blackouts.

Translated by L.A.R

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.

Jose Daniel Ferrer’s Jailers Stop His Family From Visiting Him One More Time

His wife, Nelva Ismarays Ortega Tamayo, denounced that the agents had limited themselves to accepting the “bag” of food and medicine she brought.

José Daniel Ferrer, leader of UNPACU, imprisoned in Santiago de Cuba, in an archive image.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 10 May 2024 — The Mar Verde high-security prison authorities in Santiago de Cuba prevented political prisoner José Daniel Ferrer’s family from visiting him last Monday. In an audio sent via WhatsApp, his wife, Nelva Ismarays Ortega Tamayo, denounced that the jailers had limited themselves to accepting the “bag” of food and medicine that she brought to the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU).

Ortega Tamayo was scheduled to make a regular visit to her husband and was accompanied by her four-year-old son, Daniel José, and her stepdaughter, Fátima. The agents blocked their way and only accepted “the bag with food, hygiene products, toiletries and some medicines.”

This has been happening for “more than a year,” laments the woman, who sees in this act a constant and unpunished violation of her husband’s rights, and in addition to this, they have cancelled their “family and marital visits” without prior notice. On May 3, she exemplifies, a conjugal visit was scheduled, but the prison guards made her wait several hours only to tell her that she could not see Ferrer, thus showing off their “abuse of power so characteristic of them.”It is “psychological torture,” to which she is already accustomed, says Ortega Tamayo.

“The dictatorship insists on keeping him isolated not only from the rest of the prison population but also from his own family,” she adds. Ferrer remains “in the same punishment and isolation cell since August 14, 2021, under inhuman, cruel and degrading conditions, being a victim of mistreatment and physical and psychological violence. Deprived of his liberty. Poorly fed. Drinking non-potable water most of the time, prisoners have to carry the water over long distances because tanker trucks hardly ever reach there,” she says. continue reading

For more than two years he has only been entitled to 12 family visits and 9 marital visits, the woman summarizes

Nor does he have medical or dental care, Ortega Tamayo denounces, and he is exposed – like all prisoners on the island, she emphasizes – to “malnutrition, parasitism, leptospirosis and tuberculosis,” due to coming in contact with “rats, bedbugs, ticks, cockroaches, etc.”

For more than two years she has only been entitled to 12 family visits and 9 marital visits, summarizes the woman, who also complains about Ferrer’s inability to make phone calls. The regime is determined to “slowly bury him alive and make his life miserable,” she says. The family suffers constant frustration and anguish, she explains, and can only wonder “how he is, where he is” or whether he has started a new hunger strike or has been beaten.

“We call on international solidarity to keep supporting my husband and complaining about the abuses suffered by him in prison,” her message concludes, holding Miguel Díaz-Canel and Raúl Castro accountable for Ferrer’s physical and mental integrity. “We fear very much for my husband’s life, so we will continue to demand proof of life and his immediate and unconditional release.”

On April 1, the authorities agreed to allow Ortega Tamayo to visit Ferrer for “two measly minutes.” Until March, the political prisoner had not been able to communicate with his family for a year. “At seven in the morning I was standing in front of the prison, and at 10, in the waiting room, First Lieutenant Iranis Pozo, as he identified himself, showed up and took me to the office where we used to do family visits,” Ortega said. She also pointed out that in the office, guarded by “a female guard” so that her position could not be heard from outside, the agent tried to convince her to abandon her “stand.”

“Realizing that I would stand my ground and that the only way to get me out was in a police car or after allowing me to see my husband, the same officer told me that they would give me two minutes, after talking to the Headquarters and State Security,” she then explained.

Among the few words they exchanged, Ferrer asked her to denounce his situation and that of other prisoners such as Fernando González Vaillant and Roilán Zárraga Ferrer, who have already served their respective sentences – in González’s and Zárraga’s case “months ago”– but remain in prison. “The dictatorship doesn’t want them out on the streets,” Ortega said.

José Daniel Ferrer has been in prison since 2021 before he could join the 11 July 2021 (’11J’) mass protests, although the history of repression against him began much earlier. The opposition leader was part of the group of prisoners of the Black Spring, he was sentenced to death, the conviction was commuted to 25 years in prison and he was released after eight years thanks to the Vatican’s efforts and Spain’s mediation.

Translated by L.A.R

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COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.