The Cuban Prosecutor’s Office Asks for Prison Sentences of 4 to 9 Years for the Demonstrators of Caimanera

The six accused of the demonstrations in Caimanera in May 2023. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, January 29, 2024 — Almost nine months after the anti-government protests in Caimanera, repressed by the black berets and during which there were deliberate cuts to the internet service, the Guantánamo Prosecutor’s Office has made public its ruling with the sanctions it requests for six of the detainees, of between four and nine years in prison.

On Saturday, the activist Marcel Valdés released the document, provided by the parents of some detainees, which includes the request for nine years in prison for the crimes of “public disorder” and “instigation to commit crimes” for Daniel Álvarez González, who has the highest penalty.

He is followed by Luis Miguel Alarcón Martínez, Rodolfo Álvarez González and Freddy Sarquiz González, whom the Prosecutor’s Office accuses of several crimes of public disorder, and asks for six years of deprivation of liberty.

He is followed by Luis Miguel Alarcón Martínez, Rodolfo Álvarez González and Freddy Sarquiz González, whom the Prosecutor’s Office accuses of several crimes of public disorder for which they ask for six years of deprivation of liberty

The judge has requested the same years, but also for a crime of attack, for Felipe Octavio Correa Martínez, while the request for a penalty for Yandri Pelier Matos, accused of public disorder and resistance, is four years in prison. continue reading

The document indicates that on 6 May 2023 Daniel Álvarez González and Luis Miguel Alarcón Martínez began to shout slogans such as “Abajo Díaz-Canel“, “Abajo la Revolución“, with signs of having consumed “alcoholic beverages” and in order to “promote chaos.” Their calls incited other neighbors to accompany them, according to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which affirms that they came to try to impose themselves on law enforcement to avoid arrests.

The Prosecutor’s Office accuses several of the protesters of having “unadjusted behavior” and not participating in “activities guided by political and mass organizations.” In his opinion, the defendants maintain “reprehensible” behaviors, including games such as la bolita (a lottery) and dog fights, in addition to being unemployed. However, none of them have a criminal record.

Victoria Martínez Valdivia, mother of two of the accused, told Martí Noticias that the only one who had received the file was Yandri Pelier, while at home they were still waiting for the document. Her son Luis Miguel is in prison awaiting trial, while Felipe Octavio was released on bail.

“I expected it for Luis Miguel, because he did protest himself peacefully. Yes, he did, and he says he won’t regret it. He affirms that he simply asked for freedom and food for his family and his people. But Felipe Octavio Correa Martínez, what they have said about him is a lie, because the boy was not even at the demonstration. Felipe’s participation was when the abusers, those criminals, left him upstairs to kill his brother, and he hugged his brother. Felipe says: ’Mom, I don’t regret it, because I will guard my little brother so that they wouldn’t give him more blows,’” he said this Sunday in the middle of Miami.

Correa Martínez was released from pre-trial detention with Pelier Matos in June, after spending a month in detention. Two months later, in August, they also left jail after paying bail Rodolfo Álvarez González and Freddy Sarquiz González.

Luis Miguel Alarcón Martínez and Daniel Álvarez González, accused of instigating the protest, have since been in the Combinado de Guantánamo prison, where they have had to suffer the diseases derived from the poor living conditions that occur in the prisons of the Island.

“I expected it for Luis Miguel, because he did protest himself peacefully. Yes, he did, and he says he won’t regret it. He affirms that he simply asked for freedom and food for his family and his people”  

The protests in Caimanera, the emblematic municipality known for its proximity to the US naval base of Guantánamo, took place on the night of Saturday, May 6 of last year and were the most important after those of 11 July 2021, known as ’11J’, and those sparked by the power outages that splashed in the summer of 2022. Around a hundred people participated in them and they were repressed with blows and arrests.

The official press quickly launched a campaign to label the protest as counter-revolutionary and point it out as an action of the “hybrid war” against the Government. Cubadebate released an extensive article entitled Caymanera: What it was and what they tried to be in which it described what happened as an “unusual demonstration” of a few dozen people “initiated by an incident with a small group in a state of drunkenness” and taken advantage of in Miami to “try to give the image of a rebellious country and encourage the uncautious who believed it.”

Organizations such as Amnesty International have reacted against the arrests in Caimanera by telling the Government that the response to a protest could never be state violence.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

Cuban President Diaz-Canel Tells the Farmers To Be ‘Nice’ and Produce More Milk

The Camilo Cienfuegos dairy, in Consolación del Sur (Pinar del Río), closed 2023 with a debt of 50 million pesos. (Granma)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 16 February 2024 — Drop the “inertia” and “be nice” were the instructions given this Thursday by Miguel Díaz-Canel on his tour of the municipality of Consolación del Sur, in Pinar del Río, as part of his official tour of the regions of the Island that “do not work well.” Between scolding for the lack of commitment and the inefficiency of industries that are not looking for “alternative” means to replace imports, the president touched on a sensitive issue in the country’s critical panorama: the shortage of milk.

During his visit to the Camilo Cienfuegos Genetic Livestock Company, the managers explained to Díaz-Canel, between justifications and mitigating factors, that at the end of 2023 the industry had a debt of 50 million pesos for failures in the delivery of milk. This January, following the trend, the dairy met 87% of the plan.

The president’s response was emphatic: the country finds it “impossible” to acquire the nutrients that the animals need

According to the managers, the poor feeding of livestock is one of the fundamental reasons why the more than 90 cows of the company barely produce 0.8 gallons of milk a day when it should be 1.6 gallons. The president’s response was categorical: the country finds it “impossible” to acquire the nutrients that the animals need, so the food has to be obtained domestically. To begin with, he said, the company should seed its inactive lands with protein plants, an alternative that so far is “insufficient.” continue reading

“We want to move the country forward, and in that purpose doing everything we can for ourselves is vital,” Díaz-Canel said to the farmers, to whom it was clear that, contrary to what the president said, they must find “alternatives” on their own.

The terrible situation of milk delivery also forced the Minister of Internal Trade, Betsy Díaz Velázquez, to appear on Cuban Television on Thursday. At first, she alluded to the purchase of powdered milk abroad, which has presented “difficulties” in recent months.

As she explained, of the 2,200 tons that the Island needs, much of it is acquired in “distant markets, which makes the price more expensive and the arrival more delayed.” The current distribution of this product to children between birth and seven years old is made from the country’s reserves, “the valuable contribution of the World Food Program with donations and from economic actors (private companies) with contractual loans.”

As for liquid milk, Díaz clarified that due to the drought that affects Cuban livestock, deliveries have been delayed, so the ministry tries to “commit the producers more” and “avoid detours (…) to other destinations that are not those of the regulated family basket and social consumption.” The financial constraints of the State and the U.S.embargo were other trite reasons that the minister used to explain the milk crisis.

“Not all the inventories are in the provinces; therefore, transfers must be made in the midst of limitations with fuel and logistics, but from today, a distribution system begins that will allow children from zero to six months to be covered for 10 days, from February 25 to March 5,” said the official.

Also, milk will also be delivered for 10 days, from February 15 to 25, to children from six months to two years old, who have not received it since the 5th. Those from two to seven years old, however, will only receive it for five days. Children with chronic diseases will be given half of the quota they currently receive, while medical and pregnant diets “are still pending.”

In recent months, the official press, ahead of the Ministry of Internal Trade, has reported on the milk situation in each province

In recent months the official press, ahead of the Ministry of Internal Trade, has reported on the milk situation in each province, especially in the largest producers – Camagüey, Sancti Spíritus and Villa Clara. This Thursday, Invasor, the newspaper of Ciego de Ávila, did its part: “Delays in the arrival in Cuba of powdered milk contracted to maintain the continuity of the productive flow in the months of February and March require the adoption of temporary measures to rationally take advantage of the reserves and protect the most vulnerable sectors.”

In addition to the well-known economic crisis, those responsible for the shortage are, the newspaper points out, the farmers, who breach the contracts and do not deliver the milk on time or in the agreed quantities. As a result, Invasor insists, children from “three to six years, 11 months and 29 days, will receive 17 ounces of milk and will also be assigned an amount of instant vitamin soda, currently in production, to compensate for the equivalent of the milk they will stop receiving in the month.”

Weeks earlier, in January, the Camagüeyan press also announced the collapse of milk production in the largest producing province. Of the 18 million gallons of milk planned in Camagüey for 2023, only 11 million were produced. The situation is similar in Sancti Spíritus, where of the 11 million gallons committed to the State for last year, only 8 million were delivered, according to Escambray. The culprits, once again, were the farmers.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

Cubans, Disoriented by the Agreement With South Korea, Ask for Explanations

Former South Korean Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, and her Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodríguez, in Havana in 2018. (Minrex)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 15 February 2024 — “North or South?” The geopolitical knowledge of those who commented on Wednesday on the announcement of the Cuban Foreign Ministry about the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with South Korea was not enough to distinguish, by the official name, between the communist country of the north and the capitalist country of the south. However, Cuban insight knows no borders, and the forum organizers immediately glimpsed the opportunities for “business” and “investments” of “one of the most dynamic economies in Asia.”

Among those who asked Cubadebate and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the brief message — just eight lines to announce a radical change in 65 years of foreign policy that does not even mention the “impact” of the agreement or its “historical background” — there were those who did not overlook a key element: the implications of the announcement for Cuba’s relations with North Korea. The comments, converted into brief reflections of geopolitics, analyzed the possible attitude of the allied country of Havana towards Cuba’s pact with the “number one enemy” of Pyongyang.

Relations have been maintained with North Korea since 1960, and the country has been a great ally of Havana

On the one hand, users said, relations have been maintained with North Korea since 1960, and the country has been a great ally of Havana, a link that “must be respected.” On the other hand, the most pragmatic asserted, “the Democratic People’s Republic must understand that it is an inalienable right of our country to open up to relations with all nations” and, in this case, with one of the most important in the world in terms of technology. Something that “maybe we can take advantage of economically.” continue reading

Others even went a step further, and asked why the regime does not open up to Israel or Taiwan if, in short, links are maintained with South Korea’s main “sponsors,” the United States and the United Kingdom.

The diplomatic link between Seoul and Havana was interrupted in 1959 after the arrival of Fidel Castro, who never resumed relations with the Asian country. As for North Korea, just a year later, in 1960, both countries exchanged ambassadors.

Despite the fact that diplomatic relations were suspended, the rapprochement between Cuba and South Korea coincided, in 2015, with the thaw between Washington and Havana, when several economic exchanges in technological and energy matters began, which were limited by the lack of a favorable diplomatic scenario.

In 2022, for example, according to data provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea, the country exported goods to Cuba for a value of 14 million dollars and imported goods for 7 million. Likewise, before the pandemic, about 14,000 South Korean citizens traveled to the Island every year, and another 1,100 descendants of Koreans who migrated during the Japanese occupation (1910-1945) reside there. All of them, the Ministry explained, need “systematic consular assistance.”

Until now, explains the Seoul Foreign Affairs statement, Cuba was the only Government of the continent with which they did not maintain links 

Until now, explains the Foreign Affairs statement of Seoul, Cuba was the only Government of the continent with which they did not maintain links despite the fact that “the two countries have expanded cooperation focusing on non-political fields such as culture, human exchange and development cooperation. In particular, it is considered that the dissemination of a friendly awareness between the two peoples through the recent active cultural exchange contributed to the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.” This is intended to be maintained, ignoring the uncomfortable neighbor of the north.

Two examples of these relations in “non-political camps” are the purchase by Havana of the Korean ferry Perseverancia, which makes the route between the Isla de la Juventud and Surgidero of Batabanó (Mayabeque), and the aid worth $200,000 in medicine and hygenic material sent by Seoul after the explosion in 2022 of the Matanzas supertanker base.

In this sense, the role of each country is very clear, and the atmosphere during the restoration of relations by the diplomatic missions of Seoul and Havana at the United Nations on February 14, as a Cubadebate commentator assures, “could not be more loving.”

Translated by Regina Anavy

 

____________

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.

The Cuban Authorities Ignore the Living, and the Dead Even More

After twelve years of manufacturing coffins, none of the difficulties of the trade is alien to Alberto Gómez. (Escambray)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 15 February 2024 — From makeup to clothes, the family of the deceased in Sancti Spíritus must provide all the necessary supplies for the preparation of the corpse. Interviewed by the official press, Alberto Gómez, the employee of Communal Services who is in charge of this profession, unveiled the litany of precariousness of his work, which he describes as “necessary and chilling,” in the funeral home of the provincial capital.

In his testimony, Gómez does not mince words: there is a lack of makeup, “that used to exist”; there is a lack of shaving cream and many “other resources” that he must request from family members. They “help with some of these products, and we appreciate it, because that way we cover the needs that may exist.” However, he adds, “it’s hard.”

Escambray asks Gómez about the “secrets of the hard job of preparing corpses,” and he perches, a little hunched, on his work table. He shows the few instruments he has: a clamp, a brush, a washbasin and a kind of lock pick. The man doesn’t show his face, which he covers with a mask. continue reading

The lack of makeup is a serious obstacle, he clarifies, because it prevents “disguising a hematoma” and filling “the cavities of the face, ears and nostrils

In vain, the newspaper tries to downplay the conditions of its work. To each idyllic phrase, such as the one that portrays him as an “artisan of the image,” Gómez opposes strong descriptions of his daily routine, which – in the “good” days – consists of trying to return to the deceased “the shape of the face, the faded colors, the physical presence and even the arrangement of the hair.”

The lack of makeup is a serious obstacle, he clarifies, because it prevents “disguising a hematoma” and filling “the cavities of the face, ears and nostrils.” Gómez says that the family usually wants to see the deceased’s face for the last time, which means leaving the body in the most decent state possible. The issue is complicated, however, when it comes to someone who died in an accident.

“Sometimes I receive a corpse of an injured person and, in general, we try to ensure that it can be exposed, but when it is impossible, due to the disfigurement of the face, then we consult the relatives to approve sealing the coffin and having a photo of the deceased,” he says.

After 12 years as a coffin manufacturer, Gómez is not alien to any of the difficulties of the profession and now accepts the most difficult cases, such as preparing a deceased child, with resignation. “It’s something that makes my teeth itch,” he says, “because it’s very hard to see a small body on that cold table and think that the child didn’t manage to live long enough. But this is the job we have, and someone has to do it.”

The work also includes placing the corpse in the casket, transferring it to the funeral chapel and monitoring it, in case the tropical climate and poor-quality makeup present any “difficulty.” Before the burial, he himself seals the coffin. Other services? The “collection at home” and the arrangements of the deceased in the house itself, when the wake is domestic.

The silent debacle of the Cuban Communal Services has its most evident effect on the inability of the company to collect garbage from the streets

The silent debacle of the Cuban Communal Services has its most evident effect on the inability of the company to collect garbage from the Cuban streets, but it also passes the account to the cemeteries – increasingly neglected and exposed to desecration – and funeral homes. The families of the Island must deal with all kinds of difficulties ranging from the confusion of data – and not infrequently of bodies – to the discovery of open tombs, with bones stolen for ritual purposes.

One of the most serious moments of the crisis occurred after the numerous deaths during the coronavirus pandemic. The small capacity of the cemeteries of many municipalities led to extreme measures, such as burials in mass graves. It was the case in Manzanillo, in Granma province, where the gravediggers told this newspaper that in the neighboring cemetery of the batey San Francisco, up to 200 dead were buried in one day.

Overwhelmed by the number of deaths and by the crudeness of their instructions – they had to bury the deceased three hours after death – the testimonies of the Manzanillo gravediggers do not differ much from those of Gómez in Sancti Spíritus. In Cuba, neither respect or rest is found in death.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

Prisoners Defenders Places Cuban Political Prisoners at 1,066 in January

Images of the repression unleashed in Havana on July 11, 2021. (14ymedio/Capture)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Madrid, 14 February 2024 — The NGO Prisoners Defenders (PD) raised its count of the number of political prisoners in Cuba to 1,066 on Wednesday, after including three new inmates on its list in January. The organization, based in Madrid, indicated in its monthly report that, in January, ten political prisoners were released and removed from the list.

The document published on the NGO’s website said that there are 33 prisoners who are minors, of which 29 are serving sentences and four are being criminally prosecuted. The minimum criminal age in Cuba is 16 years old.

According to PD, “17 of the minors have already been convicted of sedition” with sentences of five years in prison. “Currently, most are under house arrest or doing forced labor without internment.” continue reading

Last month, three new inmates were added to the list and ten were removed

The statement added that 225 demonstrators have been accused of sedition, and at least 213 have already been sentenced to an average of ten years of deprivation of liberty each.

PD also said that there are 114 prisoners (including several transgender) who “still have criminal and political penalties.”

“All trans women in prison for political reasons are imprisoned among men, which also happens with common trans prisoners, suffering situations indescribable for their sexual condition,” the organization denounced.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

Cuban Jorge Soler Gets a $42 Million Contract with the San Francisco Giants

Cuban baseball player Jorge Soler will receive $14 million per season with the San Francisco Giants. (Instagram)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 13 February 2024 — Cuban baseball player Jorge Soler got a $42 million home run this Tuesday when he signed with the San Francisco Giants for the next three years. As journalist Francys Romero stated, he is the “first baseball player born on the Island to wear this uniform since Alex Sánchez (in 2005).”

Last November, the habanero gave up a salary of $13 million with the Miami Marlins. With more than six years in the Major Leagues, Soler opted for free agency. MVP Sports Group, his representative, moved the pieces, and there were rapprochements with the legendary San Francisco team, belonging to the Western Division of the National League.

With the Giants, Soler will pocket $14 million per season, which makes him the third highest-paid baseball player in the franchise, only below the Americans Robbie Ray ($23 million) and Michael Conforto ($18 million).

This outfielder left the Island in 2010, at the age of 18. His dream was to play for a Major League team, but his initial destination was Haiti, where he arrived on a raft with his father. In 2012, now in the United States, he got a contract with the Chicago Cubs and made his debut on August 27, 2014. continue reading

This outfielder left the Island in 2010, at the age of 18. His dream was to play for a Major League team

In 2016, he became part of the Kansas City Royals team. However, due to a series of injuries and inconsistencies he was downgraded and sent to the Minor Leagues, with the Omaha Storm Chasers. He returned in 2018 to Kansas, where, in 61 games, he recorded a batting average of .265, in addition to nine home runs. On July 30, 2021, Soler returned to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Kasey Kalich.

In that same year, Soler was named the Most Valuable Player in the World Series, where the Atlanta Braves were crowned against the Houston Astros.

Jorge Soler has a record in the Major Leagues with a batting average of .243, a total of 736 hits, 170 home runs and 452 runs.

Soler’s agreement equals the one obtained in December last year by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. with the Diamondbacks. According to the magazine MLB, Gurriel has the option of renewal with the Arizona team for $14 million in 2027, and he can also consider new offers in 2026 and choose to leave the team.

Jorge Soler and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. thus move to the list of the highest-paid Cuban players, headed by José Abreu, who with the Houston Astros receives a salary per season of $19.5 million. Yasmani Grandal has a salary of $18.2 million with the Chicago White Sox. Yoan Moncada, who receives $17.8 million per season, is on the same team. Raisel Iglesias, with the Atlanta Braves, receives $16 million.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

The Spanish Enjoy Travel Agency Will Inaugurate a Flight From Madrid to Havana in June With Plus Ultra

Enjoy Travel’s corporate image was shared on its social networks in June 2023, on the occasion of the opening of its route between Barcelona and Havana. (Facebook/Enjoy Travel Group)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, February 13, 2024 — The Spanish company Enjoy Travel Group will establish direct charter flights between Madrid and Havana this coming summer. On Tuesday, the vice president of marketing and sales, Luis Jiménez, explained to Prensa Latina that an Airbus from the Plus Ultra company with 288 seats will be used. The route will be operational between June 29 and September 7, 2024.

The executive also said that they have made agreements with high-speed train companies in Spain – the state-owned Renfe and the private Iryo – to connect the provinces with Madrid for the flight to Havana. On the Island, the tour operator collaborates with large hotel companies such as Meliá, Iberostar, Blue Diamond and Kempinski.

This new route, he says, is based on the “success” of a similar route from Barcelona, which was operational last summer with a weekly frequency. In July 2023, Enjoy Travel was involved in some controversy by sponsoring the trip to Cuba of more than 20 Spanish influencers with the aim of encouraging foreign tourism to the Island, which, despite what the regime advertises, is not improving: in 2023, there were 2,436,980 international visitors, 42.8% less than in 2019 and 31% lower than expected. continue reading

The president of the Ibero-American Network of Accessible Tourism told the agency that Cuba “facilitates” the travel of “people with disabilities or reduced mobility”

Prensa Latina states, through Luis Jiménez, that the “accessible tourism” firm has been “a receptive vertical wholesale operator for more than 20 years, which now offers assistance and advice to the customer in Cuba 24 hours a day with several programs of tourism.”

The president of the Ibero-American Network of Accessible Tourism, Diego González, who is also an advisor to Enjoy Travel, told the agency that Cuba “facilitates” the travel of “people with disabilities or reduced mobility”.

The same tour operator offers “multi-destination” trips from Mexico with 15 weekly trips to Cuba.

The Plus Ultra airline is the same one Miguel Díaz-Canel used for his last international trips due to the lack of Cuban Aviation aircraft. The company is relaunching itself after complaints of alleged irregularities in a loan granted by the Spanish Government were shelved, and it is increasing its presence on the Island. Just last month, for example, it inaugurated a route between Poland and Cuba.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

Withholdings of 70 Percent or More of the Salaries of Cuban Doctors Are Taxes, Says the Cuban Government

Qatar is among the nations that pay well for Cuban medical cooperation. (Cubadebate)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 13 February 2024 — That the Cuban Government keeps between 70% and 95% of what a foreign country pays for each health worker is not new, nor is it new that the regime alleges that part goes to cover the expenses of, among other things, Public Health. The novelty is in comparing it with the taxes that are paid in many European countries through a simplification that could be described as ignorance, if it were not for the fact that it is published by a media that knows what it is talking about.

The international pro-Castro channel Cubainformación, located in Spain, has released a video on Tuesday to talk about the “war against Cuban medical cooperation,” whose epicenter, it says, is in Mexico. The report explains that Cuban international missions are divided into several types: those that are entirely covered by Cuba, in the poorest countries, those that have the contribution of the two parties and, finally, those that are sent to countries with more resources, for which the Island receives a payment.

This amount includes, details the report, stipends and allowances for cooperating personnel, expenses (flights, lodging and maintenance), salaries and, finally, an amount that goes to the Public Health System. Cubainformation tries to ridicule “the media and contracting organizations” whom it considers allies of the United States in its “war” by mocking the different percentages  that the Government retains. “The ’Cuban regime’ practices ’modern slavery’ or ’forced labor’ of its medical personnel because it ’retains’ more than 70% – or 75%, 80% or 95%, because there are different figures according to the imagination of the source – of the payment,” it jokes. continue reading

Even accepting the figure of 70%, discounting the expenses assumed by the Cuban State, we would not be at a tax pressure much higher than that of Belgium, for example”

Then, however, it recognizes that “the data is difficult to verify,” but admits that it may be the least amount withheld compared to other countries. “Even accepting the figure of 70%, discounting the expenses assumed by the Cuban State, we would not be at a tax pressure much higher than that of Belgium, for example,” it concludes.

The surprising analogy comes from the opening of the video, which states that “in a country like Belgium, of the gross salary of a worker, 53% is withheld by the State” as taxes to cover social security and the public budget, and it adds that calling this a “business” of the Belgian Government is a joke. The comparison would reveal an amazing ignorance if it were not for the fact that the author is from Spain, a country where the tax system works like the Belgian one.

The 53% mentioned comes from the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) classification, which placed Belgium as the country with the highest taxes of the 38 countries that compose it. That indicator includes not only what employees contribute in terms of taxes, but also what companies contribute for them. But in addition, what workers pay of their gross salary is basically made up of contributions to Social Security and Personal Income Tax (IRPF).

The latter is paid progressively, according to a system of brackets established by law. A percentage is applied to each segment that increases according to the amount contributed, so it is not applied to the total salary. In addition, the personal income tax takes into account the circumstances of the worker, particularly if he or she lives alone and/or has children.

The tax is paid progressively, according to a system of brackets established by law

 In summary, Cubainformation is comparing an average percentage – obviously there are Belgians paying more or less according to the personal case – which is the sum of the company and worker contributions in the country where the figure is the highest in the world, with the at least 70% applied to the total salary of any Cuban doctor abroad without distinction. In addition, it seems to the media that 70% “is not much higher” than 53%, despite being 23 points higher.

The highest tax bracket among the OECD countries is in Europe at 41.2%, while that of Chile is 13.5%. The highest in the United States is 37%; in return everyone enjoys an infinite number of public services ranging from health and education to garbage collection and transport. These services have such high overall quality that they are used by citizens regardless of their tax bracket. These countries, with the Nordics at the head, lead international rankings every year in terms of development index, well-being and minor inequalities, among others, despite the cyclical economic difficulties they can experience.

Aware of these aspects, with its headquarters in Spain (fifteenth highest tax bracket at 39.4%), Cubainformación compares them – simplifying – with what happens with the appropriation of the salaries of Cuban doctors abroad and forgets that, even accepting its version, the regime never details in a General State Budget (as these nations do) what it spends its income on.

The truth is, as the Government of Cuba itself reports, that more than 33% of the State budget goes to tourism investments

“Ending this income means preventing Cuba from buying or manufacturing medicines, repairing hospitals, importing medical technology or, simply, the economic improvement of cooperating personnel and their families,” continues the video.

The truth is, as the Government of Cuba itself reports, that more than 33% of the State budget goes to tourism investments. This is reflected in the public accounts of 2022, where it is seen that Health and Education together received a tenth of the investment dedicated to the construction of hotels and services linked to tourism. Specifically, in fact, only 2.1% was dedicated to Health and Public Assistance.

The video also addresses other issues, such as the vaccines sold to Mexico, which many of its citizens have openly rejected, the alleged lack of training of the health workers sent to other countries and the discomfort among the national professionals.

But the most disturbing thing is the rhetorical question that, curiously, it has answered minutes before. “How is it possible for a Government to be able to ’force’ 600,000 ’slaves’ to 165 countries, as Havana has achieved in these 60 years?” The author himself has already revealed the answer by talking about the payments made, as a stipend, by the governments that hire their services: “It means, de facto, multiplying their Cuban salary,” the one they receive when they are at home, which does not allow them to live with dignity.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

Cuba’s Foreign Minister Thanks Bolivia for Donations of Medicine and Food

Meeting between the delegations of Bolivia and Cuba this Monday in Havana. (@BrunoRguezP)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, February 13, 2024 — The Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez, thanked his Bolivian counterpart, Celinda Sosa, on Monday, for the collaboration “in agri-food matters” and the donations of medicine and food to the Island, which is immersed in a serious economic crisis.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the recognition was made during the official conversations held by both foreign ministers in Havana in the framework of Sosa’s first official visit to Cuba since taking office last November.

At the meeting, Cuba and Bolivia agreed on “the need to maximize economic-commercial relations and create mechanisms that generate new initiatives for their development,” the official statement said.

The agreements were also reviewed with bilateral political consultations, and “strategies were drawn up to continue strengthening and consolidating bilateral relations.” continue reading

At the meeting, Cuba and Bolivia agreed on “the need to maximize economic-commercial relations and create mechanisms that generate new initiatives for their development

Rodríguez also took advantage of the meeting to thank Sosa for “the Bolivian Government’s signs of solidarity, including the donations of food and medical supplies to our people.”

The meeting was held shortly after the Bolivian chancellor had a meeting with the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel.

“We had a good meeting today with the Chancellor of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Celinda Sosa. With the brotherhood that unites our peoples, we talked about what has been done but also about how much more we can do. I thanked her for the unbreakable love and solidarity of Bolivia,” Díaz-Canel wrote on social networks.

The visit, which had not been announced by Havana nor open to the international media, will conclude with a conference at the University of Havana entitled “Industrialization and the productive community social economic model.”

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

Despite Having Enough Oil, Cuba Registers a Record Electricity Deficit This Tuesday

The UNE says that four generators of the ’patana’ (floating Turkish power plant) of Melones will come into operation for the peak hours. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana 13 February 2024 — The generation deficit predicted by the Electric Union (UNE) broke a new record on Tuesday, with the announcement that 1,308 megawatts (MW) and up to 1,378 MW at peak hours will be missing. Cubans already know what that means: the climax of the energetic debacle after several weeks of blackouts, despite being in the coolest season of the year. Complaints have erupted on the company’s social networks.

According to the UNE, unit 2 of the Felton thermoelectric plant, in Holguín, and unit 5 of Renté, in Santiago de Cuba, are out of service due to a breakdown. Likewise, unit 8 of Mariel (Artemisa), unit 3 of Santa Cruz (Mayabeque) and unit 4 of Cienfuegos are under maintenance.

During peak hours, the company says, four generators of the Turkish patana [floating power plant] of Melones, located in Havana Bay, with 65 MW and 27 MW respectively, will come online. The system relies on these generators, but the sum does not even cover the deficit in thermal generation, which amounts to 338 MW. continue reading

On the UNE Facebook page, users do not let up on the company, which “every day (announces) less generation availability”

On the UNE Facebook page, users do not let up on the company, which “every day (announces) less generation availability,” with forecasts that fall short in the face of reality. This was the case on Monday, when the UNE reported a deficit of 1,033 MW that became 1,183 MW. “San Antonio de los Baños, as always, was at the forefront, from 8 pm to 12 am, and at 5 am we began the cycle again and are still waiting,” complained a netizen from Artemisa, alluding to the intense day of blackouts on Monday.

Residents in Granma, Holguín, Matanzas and Las Tunas provinces made similar claims and pointed out that “all of Cuba (is) turned off with the exception of the capital,” a complaint that has been spread among those who complain to the UNE that Havana is privileged while the rest of the country suffers up to 12 hours without electricity.

Other commentators, more sarcastic, announced the collapse of their plans for the celebration of Valentine’s Day on February 14 due to the blackouts. “They are going to give us a tremendous gift for the day of love and friendship,” said a reader.

The fuel crisis, with which the authorities justify everything from power cuts to the absence of food in the warehouses, was recently refuted by the British agency Reuters. With data provided from Venezuela and the monitoring of the transfer of oil ships to the Island, Reuters says that the amount of oil that passes through Cuba is more than enough to meet the demand.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics and Information, Cuba needs about 125,000 barrels per day (bpd) of fuel for electricity generation, gasoline and diesel. The country “has a constant national oil production of around 40,000 bpd that is used mostly for power generation, and it receives 56,000 bpd of crude oil and finished fuel from Venezuela, according to ship monitoring data provided by LSEG and documents from that country’s state company, PDVSA,” Reuters analyzes.

If to this is added the arrival of the 23,000 bpd from Mexico and another 10,000 bpd purchased from European countries, the Island would be receiving up to 129,000 bpd

If to this is added the arrival of the 23,000 bpd from Mexico and another 10,000 bpd purchased from European countries, the Island would be receiving up to 129,000 bpd, that is, 4,000 bpd more than its total consumption according to official data. The causes of the “alleged crisis” should be sought then, explains Reuters, in the failures of the infrastructure and internal logistics, as the expert from the University of Texas Jorge Piñón points out: of the three refineries in the country, only the one in Cienfuegos works, while those of Havana and Santiago de Cuba are shut down due to technical problems.

These problems are aggravated by the loss of hydrocarbon storage as a result of the destruction of the Matanzas supertanker base by the 2022 fire, which forces the distribution of the loads at several points on the island and on the ships themselves, until they can enter the refinery and be distributed.

Meanwhile, oil tankers continue to arrive in Cuba, including the Sea Hermes I, the Caribbean Alliance, the Sandino and the Pluto, which were reported this Tuesday in several ports, in addition to the Aquila and the Eco Fleet, announced for the coming days.

Translated by Regina Anavy 

_______________

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.

The Cuban Company Acosta Danza Yunior Makes its Debut at the Marti Theater in Havana

The new dancers define their style as contemporary, with a clear influence from modern Cuban dance and the folkloric and popular dances. (EFE)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Madrid, 11 February 2024 — Acosta Danza Yunior, the new artistic project of the prestigious Cuban dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta, debuts this weekend with a presentation at the emblematic Martí Theater in Havana.  The new youth group is made up of 10 dancers from 18 to 20 years old, graduates from the academy belonging to the company founded by Acosta in 2016 with an artistic style that combines contemporary movement and classical ballet.

The new generation is ready to perform, having completed a special curriculum for three years. The promoters point out that they will have their own choreographic repertoire and particular program of presentations.

They also define their style as contemporary, with a clear influence from Cuban modern dance and the folk and popular dances of the Island, without disdaining the technical touch of classical ballet.

For their first season, ’Green Shoots’, they will perform ’Fuga’, ’Hybrid’ and ’Nosotros’, where the dancers show their energy, passion and freshness, and that desire to “eat the world,” as their mentor Acosta expressed in the program for their first public performance. continue reading

“The three creations are artistic approaches to the complex moments we are living,” said the general director of the ’older sister’ company of the group.

Acosta Danza Yunior “will be the space where many artists will begin their professional careers, and they will adorn the stage in the coming decades”

Acosta Danza Yunior “will be the space where many artists will begin their professional careers, and they will adorn the stage in the coming decades. It is a place to grow, excel, experiment and mature,” he said.

Behind the curtain, the dancers move nervously, wearing light clothing to stage ’Fuga’, a world premiere piece that was specially conceived for Acosta Danza Yunior by the Spanish choreographer and dancer – based in Cuba – Susana Pous.

She has placed the context of her work “in a moment of escape, of flight.” She explains that she has not intended to “complicate the work from the dramaturgical point of view, but that’s what it’s all about: all that can mean sharing a space, and that space begins to be insufficient for some, too small for them, so that they feel the need to get out of there, to escape.”

The piece is joined by ’Hybrid’ and ’Nosotros’, which are versions of Acosta Danza choreographies that the new group will now perform.

’Nosotros’, the second work of the program, danced by Betty García and Raúl Reinoso, is a duet to reflect on the intermittences of relationships, both disagreements and coincident points, frustrations and the couple’s best moments.

As a culmination, ’Hybrid’ brings closure, as the dancers move freely and transmit their body energy to represent the message of the most complex work for debutants.

’Fuga’ is a world premiere piece that was specially conceived for Acosta Danza Yunior by the Spanish choreographer and dancer – located in Cuba – Susana Pous

Paul Brando García-Cachimaille and Thalía Cardín Díaz take the lead  in ’Hybrid’, and even before recovering from the impact and the strong dynamics of their representation, they stated their impressions.

“We are very happy with this project that opens many doors for us in the world of art, to start a new stage in our artistic career and to grow artistically,” said García-Cachimaille, after saying that the previous training process and the long hours of rehearsals have been “difficult.”

His colleague Thalía Cardín Díaz said that “it has been a pleasure, and we are proud to work with these internationally recognized choreographers. It opens up our way of experiencing dance.”

The 19-year-old dancer hopes this presentation has “touched the soul” of the public and that “seeing dance as something relevant in these hard times makes us feel grateful for the art, for Acosta Danza and the people who support us.”

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

Cuba Postpones Several Sporting Events Due to the ‘Complex Situation With Fuel’

The lack of fuel also forced the suspension of the second day of Cuban soccer. (Jit)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio/EFE, Havana, 11 February 2024 — Cuba postponed this Saturday the national sports events in development and those planned for the coming days in disciplines such as baseball in the face of the “complex situation with fuel.”   A press release from the state National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation indicates that the decision to stop the competitive calendar covers all categories in soccer, cycling, softball, basketball and baseball.

“In a more favorable context for transportation, participants in the postponed events will be informed about the rescheduling of the sports calendar,” added the note published by Jit on its website.

In October 2023, the Baseball Commission of Havana took the team from the municipality of Cotorro out of the 63rd Provincial Series. The team received the disciplinary measure, announced this Thursday, “for not showing up for its last two meetings,” according to journalist Boris Luis Cabrera Acosta. The sports authorities did not accept the justification that the absences were due to the lack of transport caused by the shortage of fuel that affects Cuba. continue reading

The fuel crisis semi-paralyzed Cuba at the end of last 2023 and has remained in 2024, with long lines at gas stations becoming common

The lack of fuel also affected baseball in 2022. The first match of the U-23 championship of the National Baseball Series, between the Villa Clara and Cienfuegos teams, was suspended this Tuesday “for lack of fuel.” According to the “Por la Goma” YouTube channel, the Villaclareños Leopards, who were already staying at the Pasacaballos hotel, received the notification that they could not be transferred to the “5 de septiembre” stadium, where the host team and the local fans were waiting for them.

The fuel crisis semi-paralyzed Cuba at the end of last 2023 and has been maintained in 2024, with long lines at the gas stations becoming common.

The annoying blackouts and the suspension of face-to-face classes at several universities, including the cancellation of the traditional and massive May Day parade in the Plaza de la Revolución, are evidence of the crisis.

The Island imports practically all the oil it consumes and uses it mostly to generate electricity.

Cuba already experienced complicated circumstances with fuel in 2019 and accused the Trump Administration of hindering the entry of fuel into the island by putting pressure on Venezuelan oil tankers.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

Massive Crash Leaves 28 People Injured in Cuba’s Artemisa Province

Five of the injured were transferred to the Comandante Pinares and Nacional hospitals, in the provinces of Pinar del Río and Havana, respectively. (El Artemiseño)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, February 12, 2024 — A traffic crash on Sunday in Bahía Honda, in Artemisa province, left a preliminary count of 28 people injured, one of them seriously, according to state media.

The open truck involved was carrying a group of militants of the Union of Young Communists, who were returning from agricultural work on a sugarcane plantation, according to the local press. Open trucks are commonly used for passenger transport, throughout Cuba.

Five of the injured were transferred to the Comandante Pinares and Nacional hospitals, in the provinces of Pinar del Río and Havana, respectively. So far, the cause of the crash has not been specified.

Since the beginning of 2024, several serious traffic crashes have been recorded on the Island. Deaths from traffic crashes increased by 4% in 2023 (729) compared to 2022 (700), although fewer road crashes were recorded, according to data from the National Road Commission (CNA). continue reading

The open truck involved was carrying a group of militants of the Union of Young Communists, who were returning from agricultural work on a sugarcane plantation

In 2023, a total of 8,556 traffic crashes occurred, which represented a decrease of 13% compared to those reported in 2022 (9,848).

The Transportation authorities have pointed out that the poor condition of the roads due to lack of maintenance and the incorporation into the circulation of more than 400,000 mopeds have complicated road safety in the country.

They have also emphasized that among the causes of crashes are drivers who don’t pay attention to controlling the vehicle or respecting the right of way, situations that generated 60% of the crashes, 48% of the deaths and 66% of the injured.

The authorities place less emphasis on the state of the roads and the obsolete vehicles. The official state newspaper Granma recently recognized, although overlooked, the precarious condition of the roads, caused by “the limitations on investments for their improvement.”

According to official data from last July, 75% of the Island’s roads were in regular or bad condition.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

A Russian Flight is Delayed 18 Hours in Cuba Due to Lack of Fuel

Russian tourists protest at Jardines del Rey International Airport. (Mash/Capture/Telegram)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, February 11, 2024 — A group of Russian visitors were victims of the poor service provided by the Cuban tourism industry and decided to protest at Cayo Coco airport after an 18-hour delay in the fuel supply to the aircraft that was leaving for Moscow.

According to the Russian portal Bel, the flight was delayed due to a breakdown of the tanker truck that was transporting the fuel to the airport, while the tourism site Tourdom reported that the company in charge of the connection, Nordwind Airlines, stated that the reason for the delay was because “there was not enough fuel” in the Island terminal “to refuel the aircraft.”

The lack of fuel was known while the plane was preparing for takeoff, and the passengers were temporarily accommodated in a hotel

The lack of fuel was known while the plane was preparing for takeoff, and the passengers were temporarily accommodated in a hotel. A video of the protest was posted on Russian media. The  tourists, angry and complaining, were not informed of what happened. One man stated that “they didn’t give us water for a long time. At three in the morning we checked into the hotel, and at seven they told us to get back on the bus.” They finally arrived at the airport for their flight to the Moscow-Sheremetievo International Airport. continue reading

Nordwind had planned to fly from Cayo Coco (Jardines del Rey International Airport) to Moscow on February 8 at six in the evening, but it left a day later and arrived in the Russian capital this Saturday.

Currently, Nordwind is the only airline that operates direct flights between Moscow and Cayo Coco.

The terrible services offered by the Island in the tourism sector are not exclusive to airports. On January 3, 14ymedio published the story of Maidelys, a Cuban woman who suffered a tortuous trip on a Viazul bus between Ciego de Ávila and Havana.

Three hours stranded on the highway due to the breakdown of the vehicle made several passengers, including foreigners and Cubans living abroad, miss their return flights.

After the reopening of borders that were closed due to COVID-19, the official Cuban press began to sell the Jardines del Rey as a safe destination despite the epidemiological complexities. The airport of the same name began to receive up to 35 flights per week.

On December 24 of last year, the Russian state airline Rossiya, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, resumed its direct flights between Moscow and Havana

In 2021, during the coronavirus crisis, Russia positioned itself as the first country to send tourists to Cuba. However, in September 2023, it was in third position with 120,065 tourists, behind Canada (709,555) and the United States (126,600).

On December 24 of last year, the Russian state airline Rossiya, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, resumed its direct flights between Moscow and Havana. This link between the two capitals had been suspended since March 2022, as a result of the sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. As a consequence, flights from Moscow had to travel over the North Pole to reach Cuba.

According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Chernishenko, between January and October 2023, tourism to Havana increased by 3.5 times, and by last November 164,197 Russian tourists had arrived on the Island.

Translated by Regina Anavy

____________

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.

Bad Smells and Feces Floating at the Entrance Force the Closure of a Doctor’s Office in Holguin, Cuba

“Between the bad smells and the feces floating at the entrance, maintaining hygiene is impossible.” (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Miguel García, Holguín, February 10, 2024 — “I don’t know what’s worse, the plague or the lack of attention,” says Clara, a few feet from Office 24 of the Pedro del Toro Saad health clinic in the city of Holguín. On the outskirts of the premises, located on the road to the Mirador de Mayabe, a fetid liquid springs up from the sewer pipes and accumulates at the entrance. The spillage began last December, less than six months after the property was subjected to a “capital repair.”

“Just when we were under the illusion of being able to have higher quality care, we began noticing how the entrance was filled with sewage,” explains Clara, a diabetic with high blood pressure who lives nearby. “The doctor and nurse immediately reported the problem, but there’s no way they can work there because it’s a health hazard. Between the bad smells and the feces floating at the entrance, maintaining hygiene is impossible.”

The spillage began last December, less than six months after the office was subjected to a “capital repair”. (14ymedio)

The Hilda Torres neighborhood clinic serves 1,032 patients in the area, including two pregnant women. After closing the premises, the health authorities referred the patients to Office 25, which is some 650 feet away, but the congestion in the consultation rooms and the excessive number of patients are detriments to the care that they can receive. “It’s not worth going there; it can’t cope with all the patients. You spend hours for nothing and have to go back home.” continue reading

A week ago, after many criticisms and complaints, a vehicle specialized in evacuating the contents of the septic tank arrived at Office 24. “It should have come several times because of the large volume of waste, but it only came once because there is no fuel,” complains another resident. “Everyone knows this; we have repeatedly called the Polyclinic, Hygiene and Epidemiology, and nothing happens.”

The Hilda Torres neighborhood clinic serves 1,032 patients in the area, including two pregnant women

With an aging population, the Hilda Torres neighborhood also has a rough topography. “People who are in a wheelchair, the elderly with walkers and all of us who suffer from a locomotion problem find it very difficult to get to the other office because there is a steep hill,” adds the neighbor. “But once you arrive, you have to arm yourself with patience because it is always full of people. I calculate that in total there are more than 2,000 people who are now served there.”

“Closed for hygiene.” What was one of the health pillars of the Island is going through difficult times due to lack of investments and the loss of qualified personnel. (14ymedio)

The Family Doctor program in Cuba, which was originally designed for each office to provide care to between 600 and 700 patients, has been deteriorating with the exodus of professionals, the departure of others on official missions abroad and infrastructure problems. What was one of the health pillars of the Island is going through difficult times due to lack of investments and the loss of qualified personnel.

On the road to the Mirador de Mayabe, the panorama could not be more emblematic of what is happening along the entire Island: a closed office, the sewer waters covering part of its entrance and the logo of a rod with a coiled snake still hanging on the facade of the installation. The reptile seems to be lying in wait for the moment when the waste extraction vehicle comes back and patients can return to the benches, stretchers and blood pressure monitors.

Translated by Regina Anavy 

____________

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.