Letter to Fidel from Cape Verdean Doctors Graduated in Cuba

Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz,

Dear Commander in Chief:

At the end of last year, Cape Verde suffered a severe Dengue epidemic that affected thousands of people and left six dead. In a short span of time, the hospital infrastructure proved insufficient and there were not enough medical personnel for all the patients arriving daily at hospitals and health centers in search of medical care. It was then that we, a group of doctors who had graduated from the ELAM [Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine] saw the opportunity to make your dream come true in establishing the ELAM. We quickly placed ourselves at the disposal of our Ministry of Public Health and left for our country to help our people who badly needed it.

It was a marvelous and rewarding experience. Distributed throughout the three islands most affected by the epidemic alongside other comrades who had graduated in Cuba some years before, we daily walked for kilometers to provide medical treatment, visit homes, organizing and taking part in voluntary work with the people to eradicate mosquito sources, and we gave lectures and training to Red Cross technicians and university students in the country.

We have now returned to this, our second homeland, which has welcomed us as its true children, having fulfilled our mission, and with the aim of completing our post-graduate studies in various medical specialties. We would like to thank you because, thanks to you and the training we received here in Cuba, we were able to serve our people with a great humaneness. Thanks to you, we became doctors with scientific knowledge and awareness, doctors committed to our people. We mirror today what the Cuban Revolution does for the poorest of the world. The ELAM is today a reality in every one of us.


Ivan Leao Martins Silva Miranda
Representative of the Cape Verde Doctors
Medical Brigade 

Cape Verdean Medical Graduates of ELAM

Ivan Leao Martins Silva Miranda
Lucio Miranda Fernandes
Mario Antunes Mendoca Frederico
Solange Andrade Gomes
Isabel Adir Alves Tavares
Yaqueline Varela Soares de Carvalho
Neusa Alfreda Soares de Carvalho
Suzete Claudia Ramos
Lidiana dos Reis Pimentel
Iracema Lima Lopes
Catarina Ramos Mendes Moreno
Benvinda Miranda Reis
Andrade Fernades Aquino

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