Five dead in shooting at Catholic cathedral in Brazil

BRASILIA (REUTERS) - A gunman entered a Catholic cathedral in the Brazilian city of Campinas on Tuesday (Dec 11) and shot dead four people before killing himself, according to a GloboNews TV channel report.

At least three people were wounded and taken to hospital in Campinas, an industrial city 100 kilometres north-west of Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest metropolis.

Firemen at the scene said they had not identified the gunman who shot down people as they prayed.

 

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Bolsonaro Calls Meeting with Trump's Security Advisor Productive

Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro called the meeting held Thursday in Rio de Janeiro with United States National Security Advisor John Bolton a productive one. A very pleasant and productive meeting with the US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, the right wing politician wrote on Twitter and posted a photo of the meeting, in which he appears with Donald Trump's advisor, together with General( r) Augusto Heleno, future minister of Institutional Security, and Foreign Minister to be Ernesto Araujo.

For his part, Bolton said: 'I handed over an invitation from President Trump to Bolsonaro to visit the United States... We expect dynamic cooperation with Brazil.'

Before flying to Brazil Bolton told the press on Tuesday in Washington Bolsonaro's election was a historic opportunity for both countries to work together.

Last week he wrote on Twitter: 'Anxious to meet with the next president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, in Rio de Janeiro, on November 29, we share many bilateral interests and will work closely to increase freedom and prosperity in all the Western Hemisphere. '

For Bolton, the far-right politician is an ally in the region against progressive governments and movements.

As part of preparations for this meeting, Senator Eduardo Bolsonaro, son and adviser to the president-elect, traveled to the US capital this week and met with officials from the Trump administration.

On Monday, the lawmaker met with Undersecretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, Kimberly Breier, a meeting he described as good, since they spoke about steps that Brazil is taking 'together with the United States on international issues.'

According to analysts, Bolsonaro and Trump have similar personalities and agree in many ways on how to approach politics and its communication strategies.

The Brazilian ex military won the October 28 election with more than 55 percent of the vote. He will take office on January 1.

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Socialists Blame Bolsonaro For Medical Tragedy in Brazil

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro is responsible for the end of Cuba''s participation in Brazil''s More Doctors program, as well as the fact that millions of Brazilians are now without medical assistance, the leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), Carlos Sigueira, stressed.

The PSB president told Prensa Latina that Bolsonaro's position forced Cuba to halt its cooperation initiative, created by the government of President Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016).

We are very grateful for the presence of doctors from the island in Brazil and we deeply regret the responsibility in this tragedy of our future president, who will take power in January,' Siqueira said.

He described as a positive impact the work done by Cuban doctors in his country, 'mainly in poor localities and distant from the big urban centers, where there has never been a doctor.'

We are going to have 28 million people without medical assistance after the return of Cuban professionals to their homeland and 'it is also sad that our country has elected a president that harms its own people,' reflected Capiberibe.

He considered worthy and highly respected Havana's determination not to participate in 'Más Médicos', bearing in mind that 'the Cubans provided unlimited solidarity to this people and (Bolsonaro) since the electoral campaign tried to humiliate and offend them'.

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Another World Is Possible, Necessary, Says Lula

Brasilia, Nov 22 (Prensa Latina) Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva affirmed that another world is possible and necessary in a letter sent to the eighth conference of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), which is taking place in Argentina on Thursday.

Cited by the digital portal Brasil 247, in the letter Lula acknowledges that he feels happy because 'at a time when part of Latin America and the world is experiencing the rise of backwardness - of lies, now called Fake News, of political violence, of judicial persecution-, a great event like that one arises to remember again that another world is possible and necessary.'

Finally, the former president, who remains imprisoned for seven months for alleged acts of corruption, thanks the solidarity and regrets 'not being able to be with you physically. But we are today and always together.'

News media claim that some 50,000 delegates from 50 countries will debate at the CLACSO meeting in Buenos Aires, which is holding its penultimate day on Thursday with several topics on the agenda, including the new global geopolitics, peace and the main challenges for the popular movements.

The meeting, with its main axis in the World Forum of Critical Thinking, has become a valuable moment for those who fight for a better world and seek alternatives to neoliberalism and capital.

According to this day's agenda, one of the issues to be addressed will be the so-called legal wars and state of exception in Latin America or the New global geopolitics and its impacts in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the participation of experts from the United States, Argentina or Colombia.

Another of the more than 7,000 panels scheduled for these days will be Climate Change, Environment and Society.

CLACSO, created in 1967, is an international non-governmental institution that brings together 624 research and postgraduate centers in the field of social sciences and humanities in 47 countries.

Political figures of the continent as the former Presidents Cristina Fernandez (Argentina); Dilma Rousseff (Brazil); the Bolivian Vice President, Alvaro Garcia Linera; Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel and former Colombian President Ernesto Samper, among others, attended this eighth conference.

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Brazilian People Favors More Doctors Program

The Brazilian people and political and social organizations have reacted to the end of the Cuban presence in the More Doctors Program due to the hostile attitude of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, and recognized the work by the Cuban physicians.

The performance by Cuban doctors and their professional preparation has been one of the most debated topics in the press and social networks.

In fact, one of the causes of Cuba's decision not to continue in the program that has been implemented since 2013 is the questioning by President-elect Jair Bolsonaro about the professionalism of the Cuban physicians and his conditioning their permanence on the revalidation of their titles.

Bolsonaro shot at the feet of the Brazilian people: Doctors from Cuba and Brazil have similar performance in test demanded by Bolsonaro, Paulo Teixeira, a federal lawmaker and vice president of the Workers Party (PT), commented on his Twitter account.

Regarding the work by the Cuban professional, Caraol Pires, from the newspaper The New York Times in Spanish, echoed an article published by the Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, which refers that Cuban and Brazilian doctors trained abroad have similar results against the revalidation test required by the Brazilian Medical Association.

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Some 44 Million Brazilians to Be without Medical Care in 2019

Brasilia, Nov 19 (Prensa Latina) About 44 million low-income Brazilians will be without medical care as of 2019, in more than 2,000 municipalities within the country, an international organization has warned.

In a statement, to which Prensa Latina had access, the International Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity-Brazil Chapter, denounces that the government of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who proclaims himself without ideological bias, 'will lose about 9,000 Cuban doctors for ideological reasons and, also, for ignorance.'

The release refers to Cuba's decision to stop participating in the More Doctors in Brazil program due to the unwise demonstrations and unacceptable conditions for Havana that Bolsonaro said he would impose to the Cuban professionals once he takes power on January 1.

Bolsonaro will have to answer for the predictable medical tragedy 'for not knowing the history of the Cuban medical missions around the world,'the network of intellectuals states.

The document explains that 'the first Cuban humanitarian medical mission was in 1963, in Algeria. Cuba, on behalf of the defense of humanity, undertook the task to help care of poor populations in many countries as part of its policy of international solidarity.'

Cuban humanitarian missions spread across four continents, with own unique characteristics, based on an understanding of the needs of each people, according to the message.

The text gave as an example that on May 31, 1970, Peru was hit by a 7.9 quake on the Richter scale, in which more than 80,000 people were killed and thousands of families were homeless.

Cuba was the first country to send aid to the Peruvians. Two years later, on July 8, 1972, the government of Juan Velasco Alvarado restored diplomatic ties with the Caribbean nation, the text recalls.

During the following decades, Cuba sent free medical teams to several countries affected by natural catastrophes, the document says.

Brazil, the world's eighth largest economy, is 125 in the world health ranking. Trained by federal and state universities, Brazilian doctors refuse to pay attention outside the large urban centers, the network states.

'To end a program of 55 years of experience, competence, solidarity is at least a total lack of humanity. To leave the population without this vital medical care is to condemn it to premature death,' the international organization says.

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Brazil Thanks Cuban Doctors' Solidarity with Its People

The President of the Workers Party (PT) of Brazil, Gleisi Hoffman, thanked the government and Cuban doctors for their solidarity with her people, who today regret the withdrawal of their professionals from the More Doctors Program.

In statements to alternative media and radio stations in the southern state of Parana, Hoffman explained details of the contract signed between the Pan American Health Organization, Brazil and Cuba that brought out the initiative, created in August 2013 during the then President Dilma Rousseff's Government.

She described as disrespectful and unacceptable the position of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who issued offensive statements about the Cuban professionals who served in the most remote and humble regions of Brazil.

She called as a mockery Bolsonaro's attempt to ask for a qualification test for the Cuban doctors and argued that "Cuba sends doctors to 66 countries."

Do you know which is the only country that is demanding a competency test? Brazil; and you even commit the nonsense of saying that they are not doctors, the PT leader said.

She said that 'Cuban medicine is one of the most qualified in the world and even many US citizens go to Cuba for treatment. That is important for the elected government to know.'

Also, that future administration should know, she continued, that "the doctors who came to work in Brazil were evaluated, evaluated in the fluency of Portuguese and in the subjects of medicine by professors of our federal universities ... All these doctors underwent an evaluation."

In the five years of work of the More Doctors Program, nearly 20,000 Cuban collaborators served 113 million people in more than 3,600 municipalities in Brazil.

Cuba announced on Wednesday its withdrawal from the project because of the derogatory statements and inadmissible conditions that Bolsonaro intended to impose on the Cubans professionals once he assumes power on January 1.

I want to thank all the Cuban doctors who were here, their people who pay for the training with their work, their government for the 'solidarity and affection with which they treated our people, Hoffman said.

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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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