From Socialist Voice, July 2005

Communist Party activities

The internationalist role of Cuban doctors

In June the CPI hosted a public meeting on “The Internationalist Role of Cuban Doctors,” at which the main speaker was Teresita Trujillo, Cuban chargé d’affaires in Ireland. The meeting room was packed to hear her describe the role of Cuban medical personnel in more than eighteen countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia.
    The speaker pointed out that the agreement entered into by the Cuban government and these countries was that Cuban medical personnel would work in the most remote regions, where there was little or no medical structure and where people had little or no access to medical treatment. The Cubans also insist that these personnel should be ordinary doctors and other medical personnel: they resist efforts to have consultants involved, being more concerned about basic medical attention for the mass of the people than providing specialised medical care for a few.
    She went on to emphasise that Cuban medical personnel had provided 84 million medical visits to Venezuelan citizens alone in the first year of their bilateral agreement. Thousands of Venezuelan citizens have also been flown to Cuba for eye surgery, which has resulted in thousands of Venezuelans regaining their sight.
    The Cubans have built or renovated eighteen medical facilities in different countries, and more than forty thousand doctors worked abroad. This has not been without its problems back home in Cuba, where people have become accustomed to having easy, high-level and free access to medical attention.
    The speaker also pointed out—causing much surprise among the audience—that free medical education is now being given to thousands of students from Latin America, the Caribbean, and (most surprisingly) the United States—free of charge, the only condition being that those who come to Cuba must return to their own district and work within their own community. There is a rigorous vetting of potential students for this free medical education to ensure that those who come are committed to their communities and are not the sons, daughters or cousins of politicians or local bigwigs.
    The work of the Cuban internationalist doctors is in sharp contrast to the role played by western governments, which engage in a continuous “brain drain” of the intellectual wealth of poor countries, thus further impoverishing them.

“Make poverty history”

The Communist Party had a good presence on the Make Poverty History march in Dublin on 30 June. Thousands of leaflets where distributed at the demonstration, and they were well received. The slogan of the leaflet was “Make poverty history—Give power to the poor.”
    Throughout July members of the CPI are distributing copies of the leaflet on the streets of Dublin to continue to show the inequality in our world, long after the rock stars, spin doctors and establishment politicians have milked whatever they can from the Make Poverty History campaign.
    If you would like copies of the leaflet for distribution in your work-place or your district, contact the CPI at (01) 8747981 or by e-mail at .

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