Bolivia Finds Jacuzzis, a Bunker in Evo Morales’ Cuban ‘Clinic’

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo

Police in La Paz, Bolivia, found expansive, luxurious amenities in a complex neighbors referred to as “Evo Morales’ clinic” – presumably, where he went to receive medical care – but no actual signs that it was ever used to practice medicine, according to a local media report published this weekend.

The findings, revealed by the Bolivian newspaper Página Siete, follow an announcement by the interim government of Bolivia that it would expel over a thousand Cuban nationals in the country as part of the island regime’s slave doctor program, which nets it up to $11 million a year, none of which the doctors see as a salary. Doctors receive a working “stipend” that fails to cover even basic food purchases, according to doctors who have defected from the program and testified to international human rights groups.

The first wave of Cubans expelled from Bolivia would number over 700; about 200 have already arrived in Havana.

Bolivia achieved the implementation of a conservative interim government last week following the revelation by the Organization of American States (OAS) that the October 20 presidential election suffered significant fraudulent activity. Morales won that election after the main vote-counting server redirected its tally to an unknown private server, which turned the tight race into a runaway for Morales. Morales resigned, claiming he was the victim of a coup, and fled to Mexico.

Morales has left a wave of leftist chaos in his wake, which police have traced back to Cuban, Venezuelan, Peruvian, and Argentine actors in the country paying residents of poor communities to riot, training them in terrorist activities, or personally participating in violence. The police arrested for Cuban nations last week specifically claiming to be in Bolivia as part of the socialist medical aid program; all four are due back in Havana as soon as they complete their legal processing.

Página Siete described the La Paz complex as three “security homes” used by Cuban citizens protected by electric fences and an army of surveillance cameras, featuring “luxurious accommodations … a bunker, a safe, and various documents.”

Freddy Medinacelli, an official on the city’s bomb squad, told the newspaper that police did not find any explosives or weaponry in the estates.

“It was a clinic, like the neighbors said, Evo’s Clinic, because that is where the former president received care – but you could see it wasn’t working,” the official said. “We don’t understand what the use of such a fortified, equipped, and secured structure is if there were no patients. It has 17 security cameras, it has saunas, jacuzzis.”

Medinacelli added that, in another of the facilities, police found a safe, a bunker, and “suspicious documents.” He reiterated that police did not understand why the Cuban government needed a completely cordoned off bunker in the middle of the nation’s executive capital if its only purpose there was to provide medical care.

Police could not identify an individual responsible for directing the “clinic.”

The Página Siete report added that police began investigating the homes after locals in the neighborhood called in, saying here was significant activity around the centers – in particular, Cubans and Venezuelans taking down identifying markers like flags outside the buildings. Cubans and Venezuelans both have distinct accents in Spanish that are easily identifiable and notably different from Bolivian Spanish.

Bolivian President Jeanine Áñez – a conservative who took over because all the socialists above her in the line of succession fled the country – has prioritized the removal of communist elements in the government and generally operating in the major cities. Local news reported that Áñez’s government reported at least 13 Cuban citizens to Interpol, requesting more information on their ties to international criminals.

Last week, Foreign Minister Karen Longaric told the newspaper El Deber that Bolivia had come to an agreement with Havana to expel 725 “officials conducting medical, communications, and other activities” in the country,” all expected to leave Bolivia by Wednesday.

El Deber later reported that as many as over 1,000 Cuban citizens, in official capacities and otherwise, would soon return home following Morales’ resignation, according to a decree passed by the nation’s immigration agency. A group of 224 Cubans, about half of them doctors, arrived in Havana from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on Saturday to a hero’s welcome.

“We have the satisfaction of receiving the first group of collaborators in Bolivia, after living moments of uncertainty over the security and integrity of our doctors,” Cuban Health Minister José Ángel Portal said at José Martí Airport in the Cuban capital. “You have been the victims of manifestations provoked by hate and unjust harassment.”

Portal claimed the expulsion of the doctors from Bolivia was part of an international conspiracy to discredit the Cuban Revolution, citing a similar expulsion from Brazil following the election of conservative President Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro demanded that the Cuban government pay the doctors fair salaries and allow for the Brazilian government to give them training, so as to ensure that they met the nation’s medical standards. Cuban immediately withdrew the doctors, though some remained in Brazil, accepting Bolsonaro’s offer of political asylum.

Bolsonaro accused Cuba of using the doctors to establish communist “guerrilla cells” in foreign countries to destabilize conservative governments.

Bolivian officials caught at least four Cubans claiming to be part of the government’s medical program acting in such a capacity last week.

Authorities have prepared to deport Amparo Lourdes García Buchaca, Idalberto Delgado Baró, Ramón Emilio Álvarez Cepero, and Alexander Torres Enríquez after officials caught them with bags full of cash, accused of paying leftist rioters to burn down the homes of opposition politicians, create roadblocks, and use dynamite to destabilize La Paz and El Alto, two of the country’s largest cities. The individuals claimed they were there to pay Cuban doctors, not agitators.

Doctors who have escaped the slave doctor system have said they do not receive a living wage and are often forced to falsify statistics to appear more productive than they are.

“On a daily basis, you had to write on a piece of paper fake names, fake dates of birth, fake medical conditions, for patients we never saw,” Ramona Matos, a doctor who served in Bolivia and defected from Brazil, said at a press event in September. “These were statistics the agents following and controlling us forced us to write. If we didn’t write that down, we had to go back to Cuba without our salary and we’d lose the money frozen in our accounts.”

“Since we weren’t seeing any real patients, medication wise, we had to correlate the medication prescriptions to these patients who didn’t exist, so we had to destroy medicine to keep up,” she added. Responding later to a question clarifying what she meant by “destroy,” Matos added, “You had to burn them, disappear them, however you could get rid of it [the medicine].”

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