SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE AND THE EMPIRE’S BLACKMAIL
The first news on the case I
read reached us through the Italian news agency ANSA, on April 22.
According to the article (dated April 22, La Paz), a Commission of Deputies
was to investigate the case of a female Bolivian boarder student who died in Cuba,
whose body was repatriated with several vital organs, including the brain,
The President of the Parliament's Commission on Social
Policy Guillermo Mendoza announced that he would ask the Chancery for all the
case records, according to the Catholic news agency Fides.
According to the same report, the relatives of Beatriz
Porco Calle, who resided in Cuba
as a boarding student, filed charges claiming Cuban embassy officials had
delivered her body without eyes, the tongue, teeth and other vital organs,
including the brain, without offering any explanation whatsoever.
Deputy Mendoza, the article adds, said he would
exhaustively review Cuban legislation on organ transplants and the commitments
Bolivian boarders assume in writing before travelling to Cuba.
EFE reports similar news, adding that the family of the young woman had
requested compensation from the Cuban embassy in Bolivia and, when this was denied, had
threatened to go to the press.
The Bolivian foreign minister, the article concluded,
opined that her parents had gone too far in demanding compensation, affirming
that the government had acted in a humanitarian fashion in this case.
Anyone who observes what goes on around the world needs
little else. Everything surrounding what occurred could be deduced.
Nevertheless, I inquired about the case's formalities,
requested details and precise information to be able to respond to these claims
of an alleged and inhuman divesting of a body. In
addition to this, I requested precise reports, with exact figures, on our
medical cooperation efforts in Bolivia,
a country in our continent that the empire seeks to destroy.
Since Evo Morales, a native through and through, was
elected President of long-suffering Bolivia, we offered him support in
the areas of healthcare and education. I recall that afternoon vividly. We were
convinced that, each year, we could save many thousands of lives and give back
an incalculable number of people their sight and full health at no cost for the
nation. An intensive and proven comprehensive literacy program was to be
implemented immediately, in several languages, including the most
119 Cuban educators work to apply their experience and knowledge, with the aim
of declaring the nation, in only two and a half years, an illiteracy-free
country. From the very beginning, our country provided Bolivia with the
teaching materials needed to take on this challenge: 30,000 21-inch television
sets imported from China, the same number of VCRs, with 16,459 transformers and
2,000 photovoltaic systems (which make up an entire network used for follow-up courses
taught during the day), 1,359,000 primers in Spanish, Quechua and Aymara,
reading pamphlets and other materials I shall not mention so as to not make the
list interminable. A part of our war reserve of solar panels was sent to Bolivia.
During Evo’s visit to our country a few weeks after his electoral victory, Cuba officially offered him the free
transportation of these materials to Bolivia.
a country which had just been declared illiteracy-free following the
implementation of the "Yes I Can” method, joined the program.
A total of 23,727 teaching locales were created in Bolivia.
Since then, 76.6 percent of the country’s illiterate population has joined the
program and 62 percent of those who did not learn to read or write in primary
school have already done so, and not one person has paid a cent.
It is in the field of healthcare, however, where the most
intense cooperative efforts have been undertaken in the country; there where
Che and his Cuban and Latin American comrades and a young German
internationalist perished. In this field, no country in the world today, and
perhaps this will be true for a long time, can compete with Cuba. It is a form of free
cooperation engaging the poorest nations which is, at the same time, a means of
exporting services to countries around the world that have many more resources available.
In Latin America and the Caribbean,
particularly, we have offered these free cooperative services to the neediest
A total of 1,852 Cubans arduously work in Bolivia.
Of them, 1,226 are doctors, 250 specialized nurses, 119 healthcare technicians,
9 dentists, 86 professionals and technicians working in other fields and 102
selected individuals committed to offering vital services of different sorts, required
by the Cuban brigades and their hospitalized patients there.
medical brigade is working in 215 municipalities of Bolivia's 9 departments, treating people
of modest means and anyone who request their services. They have the best
equipment, donated by our country, at their disposal. In 18 ophthalmologic
surgery positions, 186,508 patients have been operated on. Well over 130,000
patients can be operated on a year.
Our doctors have treated in their outpatient cabinets
nearly 12,000,000 patients since the first arrived in Bolivia. The number of lives saved
can only be determined through calculations for, as a rule, these patients did
not receive any kind of attention prior to their arrival.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of our medical
cooperation efforts is the training of 5,291 young Bolivians who currently
study medicine in Cuba,
621 of them at the Latin American School of Medicine, which has seen three
graduations with excellent results, and 4,670 in the new program.
I am not exaggerating when I say that the relatives of the young people who
study this specialty in our country are the firmest and most combative friends
of Cuba in Latin America,
including, of course, Bolivia.
The 22-year-old student Beatriz Porco Calle the cable
refers to held passport number 5968246. She was from the department of Oruro, Samara province, in
the Curahuara de Carangas municipality, a rural community in Toypicollana. She
was a native and an Adventist Christian. She was faring satisfactorily in her
second year of medical studies, at the Miguel Sandarán Corzo School of Medicine
On March 6, she suddenly lost consciousness in her dorm's
bathroom. The doctors and teachers decided to take her immediately to the
provincial hospital. The physical examination did not reveal anything that
could explain the causes of this, nor did the laboratory and other tests,
including a computerized axial tomography. She had a good recovery and was
discharged. She experienced headaches and bouts of dizziness a short time
later. New medical exams were conducted. She felt stressed. She was
administered the medication used for such conditions. On March 23, at , she again lost
consciousness. She was once again taken to the emergency ward by a professor,
then to intensive care, where, prior to her death, she was diagnosed with what
is known as brain death.
Foreign Ministry and ambassador were contacted. They prepared the documentation
needed to transport the body, which travelled nearly one week later, on the 28th.
The body was taken to the National Legal Medicine Institute,
which is bound by law to conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
The relevant formalities were rigorously observed. The student’s boyfriend and
other classmates collected her belongings and sealed her suitcases. At the
school, a mass was held on March 31. The Institute's diagnosis and I quote, was
the following: "Death due to endocranial hypertension, hemorrhagic brain-vascular
disease caused by a congenital cerebellous meningeal vascular
malformation". In this case, the extraction of the visceral block and the
taking of pertinent samples proved unavoidable.
A teacher from the medical school accompanied the body to
and delivered it to her relatives. Cuba’s medical mission assumed the
costs of transportation to her place of origin and funeral expenses.
It is hard for me to write about this, but it is even
harder to read cables, carrying around the world the image of a body divested
of its organs, cables which oblige Cuba to offer this kind of
What has is occurred is crystal clear. The empire needs
to besmirch the truths about Cuba
it cannot tolerate. It instigates and encourages relatives to demand
compensation. They foster such action, as we can see in one of the cables, and
disseminate across the world the repugnant lie through a member of parliament
and the Fides news agency. Then, it
sets its devastating media machinery in motion.
In our country —I do not hesitate to say this— there are
insensitive people, knowing very little about what goes on around them, who quickly
and mindlessly say that "we should not help Bolivia”. They will never
understand that, both in politics and in the revolution, the alternative to a
mistaken or misguided strategy is defeat.