Cuba’s Billion-Dollar Slave Doctor Industry Gears Up for Coronavirus

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AP/Fernando Llano

The Communist Party of Cuba sent dozens of its barely-paid medical professionals to Italy on Sunday to help with Chinese coronavirus treatment – shortly after asking Cubans at home to contribute increasingly hard-to-obtain soap and water to their children’s schools.

Havana’s domestic coronavirus response was initially to welcome the world’s tourists, an attempt to profit off of the fact that most of the world’s tourism destinations had closed off their points of entry to stop the spread of the highly contagious Wuhan coronavirus. Cuba has also done little to impose the “social distancing” guidelines adopted in much of the rest of the world to keep from overwhelming its dilapidated healthcare system and has not, at press time, moved to close schools.

After widespread protests across the island last week, the Communist Party announced it would close its airports to foreign tourists beginning on Tuesday.

The first documented cases of coronavirus in Cuba surfaced on March 12, all Italian tourists recently arriving on the island. Despite expansive diplomatic ties to the Wuhan coronavirus’s country of origin, China, and heavy investment in promoting Chinese tourism to Cuba, the Communist Party claims not to have any coronavirus cases of Chinese origin.

The Castro regime announced Sunday that 52 health workers from Cuba had arrived the day before to Italy. The regime has sent them to work deep into Lombardy, the Italian state hardest hit by the outbreak, where nearly 4,000 people have died as a result.

The regime noted that it currently had medical workers in place in 37 countries and sought to expand that number as much as possible. It has also announced a new team of doctors deployed to its colony, Venezuela, which largely relies on Cuban doctors and Cuban soldiers to maintain the failed state.

“The sanitary brigades committed to work without rest to prepare colleagues in the Venezuelan territory,” the Communist Party newspaper Granma declared, “to lend the brother nation’s government experience in organizing and executing plans to combat illness, and to equip Cuban specialists in protocols of action, corresponding to the humanism, altruism, and professionalism of Cuban medicine.”

The health workers arriving in Italy were the first Cuban doctors to do so, as Havana tends to use its slave doctors for propaganda purposes only in undeveloped and poorer countries, where they can more easily mask their lack of acceptable training and widespread reports of corruption and falsification of medical data.

In late 2019, the Wall Street Journal listed over 60 countries worldwide participating in the Cuban slave doctor program. As many as 50,000 Cuban doctors and other medical professionals work in high-risk areas in Africa, Latin America, and the South Pacific, receiving no salary and only a “living stipend” that defecting doctors say barely pays for life in their new homes.

“Most host countries pay Cuba directly, giving the Communist nation some $11 billion annually. The regime takes an average of 75% of their promised salaries, rising to 90% or more in wealthier nations,” the Wall Street Journal noted. “In some cases, international bodies like the Pan-American Health Organization abet this theft by brokering Cuba’s deals.”

The Cuban government did not reveal how much the Italian government would be paying for its medical services or how much individual doctors would receive of that payment, if any of it.

The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) is the regional subentity associated with the World Health Organization (WHO). In November 2018, Cuban doctors sued PAHO for conspiring with socialist Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to enable the human trafficking of Cuban medical professionals.

The WHO is currently leading the response to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic by chastising those who note that the virus originated in Wuhan, China, and repeatedly praising the Chinese Communist Party for its response to the outbreak, despite experts saying China’s censorship of doctors failed to prevent as many as 95 percent of the world’s coronavirus cases.

The Cuban communist regime similarly deployed doctors to affected areas in Africa during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak, to much fanfare from the international left. Havana imposed restrictions on doctors traveling to Ebola-affected areas, preventing them from returning home if they contracted the Ebola virus. Like most Cuban slave doctors, those risking exposure to Ebola received only their “living stipend,” not a salary.

Countries receiving Cuban doctors have largely found that the Castro regime did not offer them sufficient medical study, leaving them unable to perform basic medical services. Tuvalu, a Pacific island nation, limited its medical agreement with Cuba in 2015 after finding many of the doctors incapable of working at the level of Cuban doctors. Last year, Kenya implemented a mentorship program in which Kenyan doctors would fill in the knowledge gaps of their Cuban colleagues, a product of Cuba’s substandard education system.

At home, Cubans have little access to health care, despite the global propaganda machine Havana uses to proclaim itself a global public health power. In July, pharmacists and doctors on the island warned that many hospitals and clinics were facing chronic shortages of basic medicines needed to run a functional healthcare system. Outside of the medical world, the average Cuban struggles for access to clean water and soap, making combating the coronavirus outbreak particularly troublesome given the importance of washing hands.

To combat shortages of soap and water at schools, Cuba urged parents to send children to school with the necessary items.

“There is no soap in my house to guarantee the necessary hygienic-sanitary measures, now tell me how am I going to find soap to send to the school?” Jéssica Miranda, a Cuban mother, told the independent outlet Cubanet last week. “They asked us parents to bring everything: masks, chlorine, soap, even water. Five masks because they have to be changed every two hours, and I can’t even find one.”

The Castro regime has also asked families to make their own face masks with household items.

Granma triumphantly announced on Sunday that the Communist Party would add chlorine disinfectant to citizens’ ration books, allowing them to purchase a small amount to ward against the Chinese coronavirus on a regular basis.

At press time, Cuba has documented 35 cases of Chinese coronavirus, ranging in age from 18 months to 94 years.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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