Declaration of the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba

The Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba, committed to the solidarity and humanistic principles that have guided Cuba’s medical cooperation for 55 years, has been participating in the Program More Doctors for Brazil since its inception in August 2013.  This initiative launched by Dilma Rousseff, who was at that moment the president of the Federal Republic of Brazil, pursued the double purpose of guaranteeing medical assistance to the majority of the Brazilian people, following the principle of universal health coverage promoted by the World Health Organization.

The program had planned the inclusion of Brazilian and foreign doctors who would go to work in poor and remote areas of that country.

Cuba’s participation in this program was arranged through the Pan-American Health Organization with one distinctive feature, for it was intended to fill the vacancies left by doctors from Brazil and other foreign nations.

During these five years of work, around 20 000 Cuban cooperation workers have assisted 113 359 000 patients in more than 3 600 municipalities.  They managed to provide health coverage to a universe of up to 60 million Brazilians at the moment when they accounted for 80 per cent of all the doctors who were taking part in the program. More than 700 municipalities were able to count on a doctor for the first time ever.

The work of Cuban doctors in areas of extreme poverty, in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia and the 34 Special Indigenous Districts, particularly in Amazonia, was largely recognized by the federal, state and municipal governments of that country and its population, 95 per cent of which expressed their acceptance, according to a survey carried out by the Federal University of Minas Gerais at the request of the Ministry of Health of Brazil.

On September 27, 2016, the Ministry of Public Health, in an official statement issued on a day close to the expiration date of the agreement and amidst the events associated to the legislative and judicial coup d’ etat against president Dilma Rousseff, announced that Cuba “would continue to honor its agreement with the Pan-American Health Organization for the implementation of the Program More Doctors, provided that the guarantees offered by local authorities were maintained”, something that has been so far respected.

Jair Bolsonaro, president elect of Brazil, who has made direct, contemptuous and threatening comments against the presence of our doctors, has declared and reiterated that he will modify the terms and conditions of the Program More Doctors, in full disregard of the Pan-American Health Organization and the agreement reached by this organization with Cuba, since he has questioned the qualification of our doctors and has conditioned their permanence in the program to a process of validation of their titles and established that contracts will only be signed on an individual basis.

The announced modifications impose conditions that are unacceptable and fail to ensure the guarantees that had been previously agreed upon since the beginning of the Program, which were ratified in 2016 with the re-negotiation of the Terms of Cooperation between The Pan-American Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of Brazil and the Cooperation Agreement between the Pan-American Health Organization and the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba.  These unacceptable conditions make it impossible to maintain the presence of Cuban professionals in the Program.

Consequently, in the light of this unfortunate reality, the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba has decided to discontinue its participation in the Program More Doctors and has informed so to the Director of the Pan-American Health Organization and the political leaders of Brazil who founded and defended this initiative.

The decision to bring into question the dignity, professionalism and altruism of Cuban cooperation workers who, with the support of their families, are currently offering their services in 67 countries is unacceptable. During the last 55 years, a total of 600 000 internationalist missions have been accomplished in 164 nations, with the participation of 400 000 health workers who, in quite a few cases, have fulfilled this honorable task more than once. Their feats in the struggle against the Ebola virus in Africa, blindness in Latin America and the Caribbean and cholera in Haiti as well as the participation of 26 brigades of the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Great Epidemics “Henry Reeve” in Pakistan, Indonesia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Venezuela, among other countries, are worthy of praise.

In the overwhelming majority of the missions that have been accomplished, all expenses have been covered by the Cuban government.

Likewise, 35 613 health professionals from 138 countries have been trained in Cuba at absolutely no cost as an expression of our solidarity and internationalist vocation.

All Cuban cooperation workers have preserved their posts and their full salary in Cuba, together with all due labor and social benefits, just as the rest of the workers of the National Health System.

The experience of the Program More Doctors for Brazil and Cuba’s participation in it show that it is indeed possible to structure a South-South Cooperation Program under the auspices of the Pan-American Health Organization in order to promote the achievement of its goals in our region.  The United Nations Development Program and the World Health Organization have described it as the main example of good practices in triangular cooperation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

The peoples from Our America and from all over the world know that they will always be able to count on the solidarity and humanistic vocation of our professionals.

The Brazilian people, who turned the Program More Doctors into a social achievement and, from the very beginning, has trusted Cuban doctors, recognized their virtues and appreciated the respect, sensitivity and professionalism with which they have assisted them, will understand who are to be held responsible for our doctors’ not being able to continue offering their fraternal contribution in that country.

Havana, November 14, 2018.

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XV Solidarity Meeting with Cuba to Be Held in Spain in 2019

The unconditional and permanent support of the Spanish people to Cuba was recognized this Sunday during the presentation of the XV State Meeting of Solidarity with the Island, to be held in this capital in June of next year.

The meeting, scheduled from June 7 to 9, 2019, will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution and the 30th anniversary of the construction in Spain of the unitary movement of solidarity with the Caribbean country.

The permanence of the triumphant Revolution in January 1959, its values, its anti-imperialist and internationalist firmness and its achievements in all fields of human development, make it an exceptional event, he noted.

On the content of the fifteenth edition of the event, Hernandez announced that it will be dedicated to discussing, deepening and projecting essential aspects of this trajectory into the future.

Both the ambassador and the representative in Spain of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, Raimundo Pino, expressed their gratitude to the Spanish movement of solidarity with Cuba, one of the oldest in Europe and the world.

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Cuba's President Addresses Bilateral Ties with U.S. Lawmakers

Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel met on Monday with Republican and Democrat members of the United States Congress, to whom he ratified the will to promote the advancement of bilateral relations.

During the meeting, held at the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the UN, the President also referred to the willingness to take advantage of the potential of cooperation based on equality and mutual respect.

Before Senators and Representatives, Diaz-Canel affirmed that the setback in relations and the persisting blockade are harming the interests of both nations.

He also said that in this context obstacles to the economic development of Cuba are also extended.

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The Cuban leader thanked the effort of the lawmakers attending the meeting to facilitate a rapprochement between the two countries and urged them to keep up the work to that purpose.

Diaz-Canel also referred to Cuba's political priorities, especially the constitutional reform process in which the population is participating broadly.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, one of the attendees, called the meeting a very good and constructive discussion, and expressed interest in promoting economic activities favorable to both countries.

'It will be a challenge with Donald Trump's administration, but I think the next Congress will have new people who support trade between the United States and Cuba,' he added.

Wyden, who referred to the midterm elections next November, said that counting on more lawmakers for that end would have very positive effects.

For his part, Congressman Gregory Meeks, in response to a question from Prensa Latina, considered unfair the restrictions Americans face to travel to Cuba.

This makes no sense, Cuba is not a threat to the United States, it is only 90 miles away, and it would be favorable and helpful for both countries to ensure that relations improve and that the travel ban disappear, said the Democrat lawmaker.

According to the senator, most U.S. citizens want the travel ban and the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington more than 55 years ago end.

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Cuba Reiterates Support for Yemeni Legitimate Government

Yemen's Ambassador to Cuba Mohammad Nasher discussed here today with Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno, bilateral relations binding the two countries and means of enhancing and developing them, in various fields.

During the meeting, the Yemeni ambassador also, briefed the Cuba official on the latest political and military developments, on the ground, in Yemen.

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SCHOOL UNIFORMS AND NERAZZURRI SHIRTS OUT IN THE COLLEGES OF CUBA

HOLGUIN - Pueblo Nuevo is the latest addition to the Inter Campus Cuba family, located in Holguin. Despite the name, this suburb is far from new and was created on the outskirts of the city centre decades ago.

Octavio, who’s an experienced and patient coach, meets us at the school entrance and accompanies us through the classrooms and corridors before the kids start their sporting activities. This is new for Inter Campus Cuba, where we’re used to playing at grand training centres, mostly away from educational institutions. Soon enough, school uniforms are swapped for Inter shirts, with the school turning a shade of black and blue.

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We’re all ready, but we can’t start without the ‘gerente’ (director). We wait a few minutes and he soon then turns up from the courtyard. His name is Juan, he’s 11-years-old and he’s running. The complete opposite of the corporate suit that we’d expected. He has a smiling face and chubby cheeks. They explain to us that his nickname belongs to all the children, who in their collective imagination have wealthy parents and can guarantee a better life for their children. In reality it’s not like that, and Juan is not rich. However, he likes to be the ‘general’ and his friends respect him for it.

So finally, we all take to the field and play beings. Kids, coaches and… directors.

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MONTHLY PICKET ACTIONS TO END THE U.S. BLOCKADE ON CUBA:

For over 56 years, the Cuban people have been enduring an unjust U.S. blockade which has negatively impacted their daily lives. One example of the cruel effects of the blockade is the damages caused to the Cuban public health system. In this sector along, the monetary damage is estimated at more than $87 million just in one year.

Despite all these challenges, Cuba is world renowned for its healthcare system, which has achieved a lower infant mortality rate than many first world countries, including the United States and Canada.

On August 17, join friends of Cuba around the world, along with the Cuban people, to stand up against continued U.S. attacks on Cuba. From Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal, Canada and Kiev, Ukraine we will unite our voices demanding an end to the U.S. blockade on Cuba and the full normalization of U.S. - Cuba relations! 

This event will be taking place on the traditional and unceded territories of the Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilwətaɁɬ), the Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), and the Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh) Coast Salish Nations. 

> TRUMP HANDS OFF CUBA!
> END THE U.S. BLOCKADE ON CUBA NOW
> RETURN GUANTANAMO TO CUBA NOW!
> U.S. GOVERNMENT STOP THE CAMPAIGN OF ‘REGIME CHANGE’ IN CUBA AND IMMEDIATELY STOP INTERFERING IN CUBA’S SOVEREIGNTY AND SELF-DETERMINATION

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Cuba: Backing Syria is firm Cuban decision

Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz affirmed his country’s support for Syria in its war against terrorism.

During his meeting with Health Minister Dr. Nizar Yazigi in Havana on Thursday, the Cuban Minister said that “standing by Syria and supporting it is a firm Cuban decision that is based on Cuba’s consistent policy of supporting friends and allies.”

The Cuban minister noted that the signing of a medical cooperation agreement contributes to enhancing the relations between the two countries in this field and allows the establishment of relations with Syria in other fields.

On Wednesday, Syrian and Cuban Health Ministries signed a medical cooperation agreement to strengthen relations in this field.

“It’s our duty to provide all kinds of help to the Syrian people in light of the current ordeal they are going through,” he said.

The Cuban official expressed  his confidence that Syria will triumph over terrorism thanks to the  sacrifices of its army and steadfastness of the Syrian people and their leadership.

In turn,  Yazigi, considered  the agreement as a “starting point for building a strategic partnership for cooperation in health field and the other fields, transferring  biotechnology and  importing medicine in both directions, training and exchanging expertise and researches.

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Embassy of Cuba Takes Part in First Meeting of Cuban-Ethiopians in The Hague

The Embassy of Cuba in the Kingdom of the Netherlands attended the First Meeting of Cuban-Ethiopians held inThe Hague from July 27 to July 29.

In the central remarks of the emotional event, it was underlined the appreciation towards Cuba and Commander in Chief Fidel Castro for the solidarity and love towards the Ethiopian people.

Thsi first meeting allowed Ethiopians who studied in Cuba and currently live in Europe to create the basis to increase collaboration in multiple fields.

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