Cuban Healthcare System Kills One-Year-Old Girl, Admits 24 in ‘Critical Condition’

Salud Pública de Cuba admite la muerte de una niña tras el suministro de una vacuna
YAIMA CABALLERO/INSTAGRAM

Paloma Dominguez Caballero, 1, died last week less than three days after receiving her scheduled 12-month vaccinations from a government clinic in Cuba. Subsequent reports on Sunday indicated that as many as 24 other infants are in “critical condition” after similar doctor’s visits.

On Monday, Cuban “President” Miguel Díaz-Canel accused outlets covering her death of “political manipulation” against the communist regime.

Diario de Cuba, a Spanish newspaper, first circulated the distraught social media messages posted by Yaima Caballero, Dominguez’s mother, accusing the Cuban state of “killing” her daughter. The post was translated into English by the Cuban interest website Babalú Blog.

Diario de Cuba first reported that two infants died, though the second has not been publicly identified, and another 24 are in critical condition. All reportedly visited the Betancourt Neninger government clinic for routine wellness visits before falling ill.

“On the left is how I took her to get her vaccines, and on the right how they returned her to me,” Caballero wrote on Instagram, with before-and-after photos of Paloma. “And the vaccine according to them was against all diseases … they killed her and I have to be ok with that???”:

The report confirmed that the girl did not survive more than 72 hours following her doctors’ visit.

The official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, Granma, published a statement from Cuba’s Public Health Ministry confirming Dominguez’s death and four other children experiencing “adverse” effects after receiving the same vaccine as Dominguez. The children were scheduled to receive the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. All reportedly received the immunization between October 7 and 8 at the Betancourt Neninge clinic. Dominguez died on October 9.

The ministry confirmed the vaccines used were imported from India and did not offer any explanation for what happened to the children, stating only that an “active investigation” was underway. It offered no details on what “symptoms” the children experienced or what Dominguez’s cause of death was.

It noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) certifies the vaccine.

The WHO has helped the Cuban regime market the alleged advances of its healthcare system around the world.

“Cuba is the only country that has a healthcare system closely linked to research and development. This is the way to go, because human health can only improve through innovation,” former WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said during a visit to Cuba in 2014.

The regional Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) helped Cuba sign a deal with Brazil to create the “Mais Médicos” program, a plan to flood Brazil with Cuban slave doctors, paid a living “stipend” that survivors of the program have said was not enough to cover food. After the doctors sued for the salaries they were promised when traveling to Brazil, an investigation revealed that adding PAHO as a signatory to the deal made it possible for the then-socialist Brazilian government to override the constitutional obligation to present the deal – technically a treaty with a foreign state – to Congress. Conservative President Jair Bolsonaro ended Mais Médicos this year.

Following the Public Health Ministry’s statement, Caballero, Dominguez’s mother, posted online that this was the first she had heard from the ministry, as she had not been contacted directly.

“Good for them, they now look good in front of the people. And what about my husband and I?” she asked.

On Monday, Díaz-Canel, dictator Raúl Castro’s second-in-command, posted a message warning critics of the regime against “political manipulation” in response to Dominguez’s death.

“Painful loss of baby Paloma. Condolences to her parents,” he wrote. “[Public Health Ministry] is investigating and is closely caring for the other affected children. The political manipulation of adversaries is offensive and lamentable. Nothing is more important for the Cuban Revolution than a child”:

On July 13, 1994, the Cuban communist regime sunk a tugboat full of would-be refugees attempting to flee to America, killing 41 people, including ten children. The youngest victim, Helen Martínez Enríquez, was six months old.

Caballero posted on Monday that a Cuban government medical professional finally reached out to her, but offered no new information on what killed the baby.

“The national director of the Maternal-Children’s Care Program (PAMI), through a phone call he gave us to extend his condolences … informed me and 100 percent confirmed that the cause of death of my little girl was not the MMR vaccine, but something that happened in the Betancourt Neninger government clinic,” she wrote. “The vaccine was used nationwide and had no similar consequences. He left very clear they are investigating the consequences.”

“So in the end it was the clinic’s negligence?” she asked. “I say this because many say it is not Cuba’s fault since the vaccine came from India. In the end we know it will be nobody’s fault, the causes will simply appear, but no one will be guilty”:

Cuban healthcare authorities began warning of a “complex situation” in July, as medical supplies nationwide began running out. Cuba, as a communist state, is dependent on a parasitic relationship with a larger state to survive. It survived for two decades on such a relationship with Venezuela, but as that socialist regime turned the oil-rich nation into a failed state, Cubans have suffered intense shortages of basic food, medicine, and goods. Cuba was experiencing shortages of as many as 44 key basic medications in July, including drugs for common conditions such as high blood pressure and anxiety.

Cuba’s collapsing healthcare system has received praise from a wide variety of famous American leftists, including but not limited to Michael Moore – who directed a film praising the communist regime’s health treatments – to Danny Glover and Tom Morello. It has also received praise from mainstream media outlets such as CNN and the New York Times.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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