14ymedio, Madrid, August 26, 2022 — The characteristics of the last Cuban medical brigade imported by Mexico, which began to arrive in the last week of July, offer no doubt about the spurious interests behind the facade of humanitarian collaboration with which they have been sold to public opinion.
“They are all military” and “none of the doctors are specialists” (they’re family doctors or general practitioners), says Prisoners Defenders (PD) in its detailed report, “The Military Truth Behind Cuban Medical Missions in Mexico,” presented this Thursday in the Mexican capital, about the more than 600 health workers hired by the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to, supposedly, fill places that Mexican specialists don’t want due to “insecurity and remoteness.”
Some of those ‘soldiers’, according to the report and asserted by the director of PD, Javier Larrondo, at this Thursday’s press conference, are “from Cuban Intelligence or G2, now introduced into the country through military airports, without the authorities, except for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his closest team, being able to know this fact.”
The document dismantles what he calls “national fraud” on the part of the Mexican president: the solicitation to fill 13,765 places for medical specialists “in poor and high-risk areas of the country,” launched after complaints against previous contracted Cuban missions.
“The characteristics of the areas under contract, which concentrated most of the ’vacant’ places, don’t have the basic infrastructure and equipment for training, care and decent work for doctors, as presented by schools, associations and federations on June 1,” the report explains. “Therefore, the inevitable happened and what could undoubtedly be predicted by the Government: more than 60% of the positions became vacant.”
That is, the solicitation, in the opinion of the Madrid-based organization, was only an “excuse” for the hiring of Cuban doctors, who, despite what was advertised by the official propaganda, do not have any specialty.
Havana presents them as such, PD says, after passing courses of between three and five days, “without documentary evidence or any professional validation or accreditation in Mexico.”
The discrimination that Cubans pose against their Mexican counterparts, who, as described in the report, are required to practice as specialists, is also being denounced precisely by health personnel from the state of Colima, one of the areas where doctors on the Island have already arrived, along with Nayarit.
Prisoners Defenders also points out in its report the “political, civil and criminal responsibility” faced by López Obrador for knowing “perfectly the convictions for slavery and all the circumstances that affect this slavery and putting at risk the health of Mexican citizens, as well as the embezzlement that this farce of health services represents for the public coffers.”
Among them is the violation of several articles of the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada “by promoting human trafficking and slavery on Mexican soil.” The consequences of this, the NGO says, “could be broad for the Government of the Republic and entail even more serious sanctions or consequences.”
The report includes an account of the health missions that have been sent to Mexican soil, since the first one, in April 2020, with the argument of helping to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. All of them were harshly questioned from the beginning by the medical profession, the Mexican media and opposition politicians.
On the hiring of the first contingents, PD details the specific amounts that the Mexican Administration paid to Havana: more than six million dollars from the government of Mexico City (where 585 health workers worked), two million dollars from the government of Veracruz (which hosted 174) and almost two million pesos (about 100,000 dollars) from the government of Quintana Roo (where seven health workers were sent). In addition to them, 40 doctors collaborated in Tabasco during those months.
Reports on the following brigades, largely sent to military hospital facilities, were vague. However, in recent years there have been not a few reports published in the local press revealing some details, such as, for example, that Cuban health workers, far from fighting COVID-19, limited themselves to “making beds” and “carrying out surveys” due to their lack of specialization.
In total, between April 6, 2020 and July 15, 2021, according to Prisoners Defenders, a total of 1,947 Cuban collaborators were sent to Mexico due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of these, 17 “deserted,” the organization reported.
For the more than 600 who will be reaching 15 Mexican states in the coming months, according to the legal agreement reviewed by Prisoners Defenders, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) will give the Marketer of Cuban Medical Services up to 1,177,300 euros per month (more than 14 million euros per year). Payments will be made, the NGO continues, to an account of the Marketer, “by bank transfer to an account of the Government of Cuba.”
PD recalls, finally, in its investigation, all the instances that organizations have spoken out against internationalist missions, calling them forced labor, such as the Human Rights Foundation, Human Rights Watch, the US Department of State and the European Parliament.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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