14ymedio, Havana, November 12, 2019 — The 701 Cuban healthcare workers in Bolivia are safe, as the person in charge of that medical brigade, Yoandra Muro, informed Cuban television. The workers, who are spread out in different areas all over the country, receive food and have their living situations secured, added the chief of the mission.
Amidst the tension that Bolivia is experiencing, where confrontations between opponents and supporters of Morales have followed his resignation forced by the army after accusations of electoral fraud, the Cuban healthcare workers are being informed “with understanding of what is happening and are rising to the challenge of the moment,” according to the Ministry of Public Health.
“All the decisions are made together, as we are accustomed to do in situations like this, with discipline,” said Muro Valle. “We are keeping ourselves informed, all the security measures are taken, in our homes, of protection, everyone has food and the necessary resources to remain in the country. But also, we are keeping in constant communication, receiving instructions from our country,” affirmed the official.
Since February 2006 Cuban doctors have been deployed in Bolivia carrying out services that are described as a “provision” of the agreements signed between Morales’s government and that of Havana. The doctors stay, as is normal, in rural areas whose mayor’s offices provide lodging, food, and supplies.
One of the most relevant contributions is that of the ophthalmology team. Since the program, called Mission Miracle began, 719,000 Bolivian and foreign patients have recovered their sight or improved their vision through this project, according to Cuban health authorities.
The doctors receive around $1,000 a month for their services, as Muro told the Bolivian press a few months ago, so, according to the normal scheme of Havana’s agreements, the government can be earning around $3,000 of the remainder of what La Paz pays per worker.
“We will continue lending services in those places where they are required, as a demonstration of solidarity and an act of hope,” she said at that time. The agreements could be harmed in the case of a change of government in Bolivia, as has already happened in Brazil.
If, as Havana has affirmed, the doctors find themselves informed, it’s likely that they will do that via the official press, which follows live what is happening in the Andean country after Morales’s exit.
The official line of the government in Havana is that there has been a coup d’etat brought about by the OAS, which today Cuba’s official newspaper Granma accuses of being an instrument in the service of the US government. “Institution conceived tailored to the interests of the United States, financed and propped up by those who serve as hosts in Washington, it has shown its claws in the conception, organization, and execution of the coup d’etat.”
According to an opinion column also published in the official organ of the Communist Party, what happened in Bolivia leaves several lessons, among them that a well-functioning economy is not a guarantee of stability because “the right and imperialism will never accept a government that does not put itself at the service of their interests,” that it’s necessary to detect in time the messages of those “independent media” that “destroy the reputations of popular leaders,” and that the security forces are “controlled by numerous agencies, military and civilian, of the government of the United States.”
Translated by: Sheilagh Herrera
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