Fidel Castro honored by Chernobyl program beneficiaries

Children and family members who benefitted from the Cuba-sponsored Chernobyl program paid tribute to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, at a meeting held at Havana´s Embassy in Ukraine, diplomatic sources reported Monday.

The Cuban Ambassador to Ukraine, Natacha Díaz Aguilera, welcomed those who, in many cases, came from other cities to express their gratitude to the Cuban doctors, the people, and Fidel for their dedication and tenacity in treating more than 23,000 Ukrainian children.

Testimonies from those present highlighted the professionalism and humanism of Cuban doctors who, as one mother expressed, not only physically cured their children but also gave them moral support to face their sufferings and becoming good men and women.

Those present told their experiences at the program´s venue—the Tarará Resort, east of Havana-- to Cuban documentary filmmaker and photographer Roberto Chile, who is in Ukraine heading of a group of journalists.

Many told of their impressions and anecdotes about Fidel's visits to Tarará and his interest in every detail of the lives of the young patients that Cuba welcomed as its children.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba’s generosity after Chernobyl

Millions have watched Chernobyl, the TV series about the 1986 nuclear meltdown, and your coverage has been extensive (Report, 13 June). But an important related story has not had a mention at this time of renewed interest. Following the catastrophe, the tiny island of Cuba stepped forward and cared for over 20,000 young cancer victims from 1989 to 2011, – medical care, schooling, clothing, food, accommodation, playgrounds – all free of charge. A specialised medical facility was opened to the east of Havana, and Cuban doctors travelled to the affected region to treat patients in their homeland.

No other country in the world launched such a massive programme. The Cubans responded – as “an ethical and moral”, not a political question, as it was put at the time, and the programme continued despite changing governments in the Ukraine.

Today, the aftermath persists. Just a few weeks ago, Cuba announced that it will resume the programme in a new facility for the sons and daughters of the victims, who are now showing ailments similar to those of their parents. The tightening of the blockade against Cuba  affects not only the Cuban people, but also the thousands of patients being cared for by Cuba’s renowned international medical teams. Surely worth a mention on several counts?

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba Offers Medical Treatment to 800 Chernobyl Children

Cuba provided about 25,000 children with medical treatment over two decades, despite the U.S.'s destructive economic blockade.

About 25,000 children who suffered from medical conditions in the aftermath of Chernobyl's nuclear explosion have been sent to Cuba to receive treatment up to this date, documented an exhibition presented Tuesday in Lima, Peru.

This medical support “demonstrated Cuba's solidarity with the victims, in an economically difficult moment for the country,” said Cuban journalist Maribel Acosta, referring to the so-called “Special Period” that started after the collapse of the former USSR – Cuba's main support during the U.S. economic blockade.

Acosta helped Peruvian documentalist Sonia Cunliffe to investigate the solidarity gesture and present the audio-visual material at the occasion of the thirty-year-old anniversary of the worse nuclear disaster in history.

Between 1990 and 2011, they found, about 25,000 children from Russia, Belorussia and Ukraine were sent to a hospital built in this purpose in the coastal town of Tarara, about 24 kilometers away from Havana. Some of them were not even born when the nuclear explosion occurred. About 800 are still being treated on the island.

  • Published in Cuba

Ukraine Recalls Cuban Humanitarian Programme for Chernobyl Children

Activists of the movement of solidarity with Cuba in Ukraine recalled the beginning of the Humanitarian Program of free medical care for the children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, three decades after the tragic accident.

One of the commemoration activities to thank again the solidarity of the small Caribbean island took place at school number 176, in Kiev, with the participation of students, teachers, members of the solidarity movement in this country and the Association of Cuban Residents.

The school offered a cultural evening and a presentation of some passages of the dramatic nuclear accident, which occurred on April 26, 1986, registered as the most serious in history by the fact of having reached the level 7 (the highest) on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

More than 24,000 people, including 20,423 children were treated in Cuba as part of the health program created by the Government at the beginning of the 1990's to rehabilitate children, teenagers and young people affected by the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

It was also mentioned the fact that the Caribbean island was one of the first countries that helped the Ukrainian people 26 years ago.

On March 29, 1990 at the expense of the Cuban side the first plane flew to Havana, where it was received by the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Noting the effects of human tragedy, 'Fidel promised that Cuba would do everything possible to treat young Ukrainians as much as necessary'. During 21 years of the program, Cuban doctors returned the lives of thousands of Ukrainian children, the teachers and parents thanked.

The president of the NGO "Children of Tarara", Yulia Palamarchuk said this program was a selfless contribution of the Cuban people, a sign of true friendship and stressed the need to continue it.

Ambassador Ernesto Sentí pointed out Cuba held out a helping hand to the Ukrainian people, 'in the same way that people supported us during the early years of the Revolution'.

  • Published in Cuba

Rise in wildfires may resurrect Chernobyl's radiation

Fallout from the world's worst nuclear accident just won't go away. Radioactive clouds may once again spread over Europe, as rising fires release radiation locked up in the upper layers of soil in the dense forests near Chernobyl in Ukraine and Belarus.

Subscribe to this RSS feed