14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 22 August 2023 — Since last Friday, 100 Cuban teachers from various educational centers of Medical Sciences of the Island have been in the community of Pátzcuaro, in the state of Michoacán (Mexico), to teach classes in 50 municipal schools of the Universities for Welfare Benito Juárez (UBBJ). This group of institutions, with headquarters throughout the Mexican territory, has been frequently denounced for unjustified dismissals of teachers, delays in the delivery of degrees to graduates and poor infrastructure.
Among the professors are specialists in oncology, nephrology, neurology, cardiology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, angiology and vascular surgery.
According to the Embassy, the professors will teach at 50 of the UBBJ sites. However, the official documents of the institution show that only 20 of its schools offer the career of Integral Medicine and Community Health, while three others offer Nursing and Obstetrics.
Alonso, a UBBJ teacher who teaches in Mexico City, confirmed to 14ymedio that a first group of Cubans had already been part of the institution’s staff since last year. “I don’t know exactly how many there were, but they located them in the state of Veracruz and informed us that they were specialists in medicine.”
This newspaper was able to confirm that in the community of Coatzintla (Veracruz), the Cubans Romaira Irene Ramírez Santisteban and Mario López Bueno were part of the faculty of a UBBJ headquarters in that city.
UBBJ is a project promoted by the Government of Mexico, which began in 2019 with an investment of 1 billion pesos. It currently has 145 schools, many of them financed by Morena, the party of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, before he became President.
“The 55 new campuses announced by the general director of UBBJ, Raquel Sosa Elizaga, sounds like a pretentious goal for the President, who promised 200 universities,” says Alonso. “It’s not that you can’t, but when on average you have two poorly paid teachers for every 100 students, it’s almost impossible.”
To the controversy over the hiring of Cubans in UBBJ must be added the claim of 120 Mexican professors who collaborated in the elaboration of the curricula and who say they were “unfairly dismissed” in 2021. They demand the reinstatement of their jobs and that they be guaranteed “social security and stability.”
In May 2022, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) of Mexico showed that UBBJ failed to deliver degrees to three graduates of the degree in Law, affecting the “right to freedom in the exercise of the profession.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
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.