Cuban Doctors are Sent to Brazil Without a Stopover in Cuba / Juan Juan Almeida

Juan Juan Almeida, 25 May 2015 — To ease the growing popular discontent, soften Petrobras’ recent and resounding scandal and regain credibility, President Dilma Rousseff, taking into account that “improving health” was the principal demand during the June 2013 demonstrations, wants to repeat history. She has asked the Cuban authorities to increase the number of physicians in order to help strengthen the “More Doctors” program and calm the majority who, as always, are the most needy.

According to official figures, up to April 2015, the health project “More Doctors” counted 18,247 professionals in more than 4,000 municipalities. And I celebrate this: healthcare should be the right of everyone without exclusion; it’s a pity that commercialization puts at risk the lives of those who can’t pay for lack of resources. It’s difficult not to consider the Brazilian request, which, although clearly without half-measures, conveys a clear Party intent, requiring the Cuban Government to send only experienced doctors. But the Cuban rulers, using and abusing an effective disloyalty, without consulting the Bolivians, respond without delay to the chords of this samba, even affecting the long-term commitments they have with the Venezuelan health programs.

So it is, because to earn money, the Cuban State always remains more open than the doors of an airport restaurant. This past Saturday, May 9, from a poorly lit corner in the office of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, Roberto Tomás Morales Ojeda released a signed circular directed at each manager of ASIC (Areas of Integral Public Health) in Venezuela, and at the managers of the medical missions in the different states, so that through their CENREC and the Centers of Attention (or vigilance) collaborators, they contact, with strict discretion, the first Cuban doctors, who, by the sole fact of having the approval of State Security, already have been selected to travel directly to Brazil without the need to return to the Island or embrace their families.

The doctors selected have the right to say no, since — according to this document — some of them have already fulfilled the time of the “mission” and are waiting for their relief; but, like subliminal blackmail there is a catch: they have to give a written argument explaining the reason for their refusal.

The list of names is extensive. It includes specialty, medical category, passport number, identity card, province of origin and more. But for obvious motives of security and understandable ethics, in addition to protecting my sources, it’s not prudent for me to publish the document in question in total.

Those interested, above all those who have family members working in the Cuban medical mission in Venezuela, can contact me. I have in my hands the list of the Cubans chosen, who, without even knowing it, have already been selected; and during this whole week, from today the 18th up to the 22nd of the current month, they will be convened and ordered to accept transfer to this new mission, “More Doctors for Brazil.”

The motive is convincing; the logic is repugnant.

Translated by Regina Anavy