Archive for September 4th, 2013

Doctor shocker: Cuba puts UK to shame

September 4, 2013


As news reaches us of Cuba sending 4,000 doctors to Brazil to provide medical care in the remotest parts of the Amazon, we are provided in the UK with new figures that illustrate just how stupidly imbalanced the world of health care provision is. This table (above) published today in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper shows the country of origin of the thousands of foreign doctors currently working in the National Health Service. Without these doctors, they are saying, the NHS just would not be able to function because we are not graduatung enough of our own. The reason for that is the cost of studying for a medical degree, which has become too high, and the number of places available at medical schools being simply inadequate.
The table shows that there are 4 Haitian doctors in the UK. This is interesting because of course there are currently NO Haitian doctors in Haiti – where the medical services are being provided by Cubans, who, according to the Independent newspaper “put the rest of the world to shame.” This irony would be amusing if it were not so tragic. Look at the number of doctors of Sudanese and Nigerian origin in the UK! The question must be asked as to why it is that so many of these people are not working in their own countries where the level of medical care is so poor? Meanwhile, Cuba keeps on graduating doctors of its own and from around the developing world who make a solemn promise that they will work among the poor of their own countries when they qualify. Perhaps Britain should recruit some doctors from Cuba or, better still, send students of its own who can’t afford the cost of studying in the UK to Havana for training? Surely that would be better than sucking the developing world dry of its scarce medical resources?

From a hawk to a dove: Another Cuba envoy sees the light

September 4, 2013


It is a curious fact that once they retire from active duty, US diplomats that have served in the US Interests Section in Havana, turn into advocates of an improvement in relations with Havana. Latest to add his voice to the chorus of former envoys is Michael Parmly who, Reuters reports, is now saying that the US should give Guantanamo Bay back to Cuba.

Obama, by negotiating a deal, could build a long-term relationship with its people, Reuters quotes Parmly as saying.
Parmly, was head of the U.S. interests section in Havana from 2005-2008 at a time when relaitons between the two countries were at their worst since the end of the Cold War.
But now he has changed his tune and has written a 26-page paper soon to appear in the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, published by the Fletcher School in Massachusetts.
According to Parmly, the U.S. base is a “historic anomaly” even though the two countries have not had diplomatic relations since 1961.
“The current partisan tensions on the (Capitol) Hill ensure that it would be an uphill climb, but it is the thesis of this paper that a similar bold step, akin to the Panama Canal, is called for regarding Guantanamo,” he said, citing that 1977 U.S. return of the waterway to Panama as a precedent.
“Both sides would have an interest.”
Since 1903, the United States has had treaty rights to Guantanamo Bay, a 45 square-mile territory in southeastern Cuba, originally needed as a fuelling station for U.S. warships.
A prison at Guantanamo was set up by former U.S. President George W. Bush’s administration for foreign suspected militants after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Obama has pledged to close the prison which has held dozens of suspected militants, most without charge, for more than a decade. But he has faced congressional resistance.
Parmly, who now lives in Geneva, says the U.S. and Cuban governments could agree that 46 “problem cases” remain at a U.S.-run jail even after operational control of the base is transferred. The remaining 118 inmates could be sent to U.S. prisons and then face trial or be released.
An agreement could also be reached with Cuba allowing the U.S. Navy to use the base for its operations in the Caribbean, he said. The U.S. centre at Guantanamo for processing Cuban and Haitian migrants picked up at sea could be kept or transferred, said.
“Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is not U.S. territory. Cuba is the ultimate owner,” Parmly says.

Alocución del Héroe cubano, René González, al pueblo de Cuba

September 4, 2013

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