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Monday, July 16, 2007


"Relatively modest Cuban medical programs"

The other day I wrote about George Bush attempting to brag about "the hard work we’re doing in the neighborhood" in the medical and education fields, and his possibly record chutzpah in comparing that "hard work" to the "relatively modest Cuban medical programs.

Today, Cuban President Fidel Castro trains both figurative barrels on these absurd claims. Here are just a few interesting facts picked out of the article:

On the "brain drain" I wrote about the other day:

Everyone knows that the United States' specialty concerning education is the brain drain. The International Labor Organization has indicated that "47 percent of people born abroad that complete their Doctorate in the United States stay in that country."

Yet another example of the plunder: "There are more Ethiopian physicians in Chicago than in all of Ethiopia."
On Cuban educational programs (which have been honored by the U.N.:
Our "Yes I Can" method of teaching people to read and write is today available to all Latin American countries, free of charge, and the countries that choose to use the program receive support to adapt it to their own characteristics and to produce the printed materials and the corresponding videos.

Countries such as Bolivia are implementing the program in Spanish, Quechua and Aymara. The numbers of those who have learned to read and write there in just one year exceed the number of those who have been taught to read and write by the empire in all of Latin America, if indeed there is anyone. And I am not speaking about other countries like Venezuela which has accomplished veritable heroic deeds in education in a very short time.

"Yes I Can" is of benefit to other societies outside the Western Hemisphere. Suffice it to say that New Zealand is using the program to eradicate illiteracy in their Maori population.
On Bush bragging about training 100 Central American doctors in a center in Panama:
Instead of having one training center for medical professionals in Central America, which has trained about 100 –and we’re glad for this-- our country today has tens of thousands of students from Latin America and the Caribbean on full scholarships who spend six years training as doctors in Cuba, free of charge. Of course, we do not exclude any American youth who take their education very seriously.
On Bush bragging about "the Comfort, 'one of the best medical ships in the world that had just called on port in Panama after visiting Guatemala.'":
The Comfort, with over 800 people on board, that is, medical staff and crew, will not be able to look after great numbers of people. It is impossible to carry out medical programs episodically. Physical therapy, for example, in many cases requires months of work. Cuba provides permanent services to people in polyclinics and well-equipped hospitals, and the patients can be cared for any time of day or night. We have also trained the necessary physical therapy specialists.

Let’s just see how the Comfort will make out in Haiti, providing health services for a week. There, in 123 of the country’s 134 communes there are Cuban doctors working alongside ELAM graduates, or Haitian students in the last year of medical school, fighting AIDS and various tropical diseases.

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