‘The New York Times’ Responds to Díaz-Canel on Cuban Doctors in Venezuela

‘The New York Times’ responded to Miguel Diaz-Canel on Twitter, insisting that it backs the report published by its reporter Nicholas Casey. (Collage)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, 19 March 2019 — The Cuban government harshly criticized a report published Sunday in The New York Times where 16 Cuban doctors spoke about how they were used in Venezuela to pressure patients and push them to vote for Nicolás Maduro in the May 2018 elections.

Miguel Diaz-Canel published a tweet Tuesday where he asserted that Cuban doctors “can never be defamed.”

Cuban doctors can never be defamed. Their
extraordinary humane work in lands that the empire calls “dark 
corners of the world,” belie the #NYT and its reporter Casey. 
Feeding Marco Rubio’s war of hatred against #Cuba and #Venezuela is a crime. #SomosCuba  pic.twitter.com/AX5TIjLpID

– Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (@DiazCanelB) March 19, 2019

The New York Times responded to the president on Twitter, claiming that they support the article published by their reporter Nicholas Casey. “This type of rigorous journalism is the core of our work,” insisted the New York newspaper.

In addition, The New York Times  published another tweet reminding Díaz-Canel that the report contained the stories of 16 Cuban doctors who had left the island’s missions “who described a system of political manipulation in which their services were used to obtain votes for the ruling party.”

Cuba maintains more than 24,000 doctors in Venezuela who were joined by another 2,000 who were forced to leave Brazil after Cuba decided to suspend its participation in that country’s Mais Medicos program, after the election of Jair Bolsonaro to the Brazilian presidency, a candidate not liked by Havana.

Since the publication of the report in Spanish and English, the Cuban official press has launched a propaganda campaign on the activities of doctors in third countries.

This Tuesday, the Communist Party owned newspaper Granma  ran an article with the title “The truth or the visa?: The New York Times lies against Cuba and Venezuela. The article insinuates that the doctors who participated in the New York Times report are seeking to emigrate to the United States, which was subsequently denied by some of the doctors.

According to the official press, The New York Times  was preparing the ground for the reactivation of the Cuban Medical Professional Parole, a special program that granted refuge to Cuban doctors who escaped from missions abroad. The program was repeated by President Barack Obama in 2017. Under this program more than 8,000 Cuban health professionals emigrated to the United States.

“The perverse report from The New York Times only shows the photos of two of the 16 supposed doctors who informed the journalist (one living now in Chile and one in Ecuador),” said Cubadebate, another news site run by the Cuban government.

This Tuesday Cubadebate dedicated a Facebook Live broadcast to supposedly explaining live “why the NYT lies.”

Another official newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth) also published “a set of works” about “the real work” of Cuban doctors in Venezuela “as opposed to the media manipulation issued by the American newspaper The New York Times.


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