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More than 20,000 Cuban collaborators, 61% of whom are women, remain in Venezuela fighting to save lives and ensuring the well-being of the population of this sister nation. Photo- Omara García

Cuban “troops” saving lives in Venezuela

Originally published: Granma by Raúl Antonio Capote (May 6, 2019)   | 

U.S. President Donald Trump recently threatened Cuba with a “full and complete” blockade, coupled with the “highest-level sanctions,” while John Bolton accused the island of “controlling” the government of Nicolás Maduro.

That lie is repeated without an ounce of shame by the highest officials of the Yankee government, and Donald Trump has ordered Cuba to withdraw “20,000 Cuban soldiers from Venezuela,” even promising a new opening in relations if the island takes its “hands off” Caracas.

Cubans are truly committed to the principle of sovereignty, we are protective of our independence, and we would never do to others what we would not allow to be done to ourselves. Our banner “has never been mercenary.” Venezuela, the land of the clarion call, of Bolívar’s brave soldiers, the same that made an empire tremble, needs no one other than Venezuelans themselves to safeguard its honor, courage and dignity.

The only Cuban “troops” to be found across Venezuela, working alongside its brave people, are those fulfilling what they consider a duty. Thousands of Cuban specialists in health, sports, culture, education, communications, agriculture, food, industry, science, energy and transport, share this task in the Bolivarian Republic.

The Bolivarian Revolution placed human beings at the center of all its efforts; for the first time, millions of “nobodies” were provided with access to the social welfare programs of a government that has allocated 73% of GDP investment for the benefit of the majority.

Various social missions were born from that will to benefit all, created and promoted by Chávez. Fidel outlined the fundamental principles of cooperation between our countries, and the rest was provided by the heart and soul of the people in revolution. Thus Cubans arrived to join ranks with Venezuelans.

Our health collaborators are distributed across the 24 states and 335 municipalities of the country. They live in all its parishes, offer their services in more than 1,500 health centers, and share their daily lives with those most in need, be it in the poor hillside neighborhoods, or in those where the upper classes live. No patient is questioned as to their political affiliation or religious beliefs, nor is any money requested for these services; everyone is treated equally.

A total of 140,000 Cuban health workers have provided their services in Venezuela, undertaking 3,300,000 operations, and saving 1,470,000 lives. Currently, there are more than 20,000 working in the country, providing 10,388 health services. To offer just one example of these services, in just ten years, 209,607 diabetic patients have been treated with Heberprot-P, reducing the need to amputate limbs to just 3% of cases. These are “alarming” figures for those who spread hate and destruction.

These are our weapons, our “troops” in Venezuela; those who guarantee life and peace. And we are firmly on the side of those who undertake such caring efforts.

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