US academic highlights historic role of Cuban doctors in Bolivia

US academic highlights historic role of Cuban doctors in Bolivia
Fecha de publicación: 
10 November 2022
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Mexico, Nov 10 (Prensa Latina) The role of Cuban doctors in Bolivia during the administration of then-President Evo Morales is highlighted on Thursday in an article published in La Jornada by Dr. Tanalís Padilla.

The professor-researcher of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), author of Unintended Lessons of Revolution, took advantage of the fact that today is the third anniversary of the military coup against Morales, to address the Cuban aid to his government.

She recalled that since Morales took over the presidency in 2006, living conditions for the vast majority of the Bolivian people improved dramatically.

She wrote that an essential component was the arrival of Cuban doctors. It was not the first time that Cuba had shown this kind of solidarity, she said.

The professor noted that in her book Healing the Masses, Julie Feinsilver explained how, in the 1980s, Cuban architects and medical personnel built three pediatric intensive care units in Bolivia, delivering them fully equipped, and sold medicines at a price 10 times lower than transnationals.

Cuban medical internationalism, she said, intensified with the arrival of Morales to the presidency and under the framework of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. Padilla noted that in the book Healthcare without Borders, John Kirk gives an idea of its scope and dimension: between 2006 and 2013, 816 doctors, 305 health technicians, 68 for support and 19 dentists arrived from Cuba to work in the poorest areas where they attended to 22.3 percent of the Bolivian population.

In addition, under Operation Miracle, 632,87 people recover their sight.

During this period, 265 Cuban medical professors arrived to provide training in 191 Bolivian clinics.

There were also 3,800 Bolivian doctors trained in Cuba and 4,302 studying medicine for free at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, the professor said.

This collaboration continued during Morales’s third term in office until the coup d’état in 2019, whose perpetrators added to their racist anti-indigenous campaign, a strong anti-Cuba xenophobia, Padilla denounced.

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