Paradoxically, the escalation of the United States’ hostile policies against Venezuela and Cuba has strengthened the cooperation programmes launched by the two Latin American nations.
Lisbet Rodríguez Candelaria
This year Donald Trump’s administration has intensified its attacks on Caracas and Havana, with the aim of blocking their bilateral strategic relationship and creating the conditions needed to bring about a regime change in the South American country.
The actions implemented by the government in Washington —designed to suffocate the economy— had a damaging effect on binational projects in sectors as sensitive as health and education, amongst others.
A Usaid (U.S. Agency for International Development) programme, designed to fund activities and find information to undermine the humanist nature of Cuban medical collaboration, formed part of the White House’s most recent onslaught against the Caribbean island.
At the heart of this immoral slander are the —completely unfounded— allegations that Cuba engages in human trafficking or slavery, and attempts to denigrate bilateral intergovernmental cooperation programmes.
The above is part of a plan, orchestrated from the north, to damage the morale of Cuban collaborators, and therefore distort the reality of the aid that Cuba provides to 65 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
Against a backdrop of financial limitations, Cuban collaboration in Venezuela is a form of resistance, in coordination with the social protection programmes of Nicolas Maduro’s government, as is the assistance for people with disabilities, pregnant women, and victims of the economic war.
This was stated to Prensa Latina by the head of Cuban missions in Venezuela, Julio César García, during the 10th National Meeting of the Movement for Friendship and Mutual Solidarity between the two nations, which took place on the 20th and 21st August in the city of Cumaná, in the state of Sucre, Venezuela.
“We tailor our cooperation to the Venezuelan authorities’ main objectives, designed to defend the people from coercive unilateral measures,” García said. On the 30th October 2000, the Integral Cooperation Agreement between Cuba and Venezuela was signed in Caracas.
To date, as part of this alliance more than 1,400 exchange projects have been signed off, with emphasis on healthcare services, medicine supplies, consultation and preparation of human resources for educational, sporting, cultural and productive programmes.
Collaborators, doctors, dentists, nurses, as well as health technicians and other occupational categories, make up the more than 227,000 Cubans who have completed missions to Venezuela, over almost 19 years of mutual cooperation. In the field of health, this collaboration was strengthened by the Barrio Adentro mission, a social programme implemented in 2003 that includes clinics in the most excluded communities, and even specialised, preventative and free medical attention in the South American nation.
In 2019, Barrio Adentro has provided medical attention more than 62 million times, a figure higher than the 97,000 surgical interventions it has carried out.
Venezuela is also making progress with a medical programme for patients with diabetes using the Cuban medication Heberprot-P, resulting in a reduction of the number of amputations.
On the other hand, the Cuban education method ‘Yo, sí puedo’ (Yes, I can) cemented the Bolivarian inclusion process and social transformation, with a 2.2% reduction in the illiteracy rate.
The fact is, the more than 150 national and foreign delegates who met at the 10th National Meeting of the Movement for Venezuelan-Cuban Friendship and Mutual Solidarity, confirmed their support for the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, and his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Díaz-Canel. Julio César García underlined that solidarity is the basis for everything, and moreover, highlighted the steadfastness shown by the 20,000 Cuban professionals from various sectors currently deployed on missions in the South American country.
The existing bonds between both the nations obey the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood, with a strong presence in the field of medicine, and in the supply of medical inputs and equipment, García affirmed. (PL)
(Translated by Rebecca Ndhlovu – Email: email@example.com) – Photos: Pixabay