Reflections by Comrade Fidel
NOTHING CAN BE IMPROVISED IN
Five days ago I read a press report stating that Ban Ki-moon would appoint Bill Clinton as his special envoy for
According to the report,
The report stated that the ex president had
maintained a remarkable philanthropic commitment with the
It likewise stated that the ex president had said he
was honored to accept the Secretary General’s invitation to become the special
The day after, the same news agency reported that
Mrs. Clinton, the Secretary of State, had said with joy that Bill was an
outstanding envoy. The UN Secretary
General was said to confirm
He added that the UN was afraid that, after a period of several years of a relative calm, propped up by the MINUSTAH, political instability could set in the country again.
The new press report repeats again the story of the four hurricanes and storms that caused 900 deadly casualties, left 800 000 victims, and destroyed the scarce civil infrastructure that existed in that country.
The history of
In Haiti, where more than 400 000 slaves worked for 30 000 white owners, the men and women submitted to that heinous system, for the first time in the history of humankind, were able to abolish slavery, maintain an independent State and defend it by struggling against soldiers who had brought the European monarchies to their knees.
That period coincided with the boom of capitalism and the emergence of powerful colonial empires that managed to dominate the lands and the seas of the planet for centuries.
Haitians are not to blame for their current status of poverty; they were rather the victims of a system that was imposed on the whole world. They did not invent colonialism, capitalism, imperialism, unequal exchange, neo-liberalism or any of the forms of exploitation and plundering that have prevailed in this planet during the last 200 years.
Fifty three per cent of the population lives in the countryside; firewood and charcoal are the only household fuels available to most Haitian families, which hinders reforestation. The absence of forests, where the soil gets spongy with the leaves, twigs and roots and helps to retain water, facilitates the human and economic damages that heavy rains cause to neighborhoods, roads and crops. Hurricanes, as is known, cause significant additional damage which will be ever greater if the climate keeps on changing so quickly. This is a secret to no one.
Our cooperation with the Haitian people began ten
years ago, precisely when hurricanes George and Mitch battered the
René Preval was then the
President of Haiti and Jean-Bertrand Aristide was the Head of Government. The first contingent of 100 Cuban doctors was
It was on that occasion when the Latin American
School of Medicine (
The number of primary schools in
Five hundred and thirty three Haitian youths have
graduated from our medical schools as specialists in General Comprehensive
Medicine; 52 of them are currently in
Four hundred and thirteen Cuban health professionals
are currently offering their services, free of charge, to the people of that
sister nation. The Cuban doctors are
present in all 10 departments of that country and in 127 of the 137
communities. More than 400 Haitian doctors who have been trained in
It was a tough challenge; the Cuban doctors had to cope with difficult problems. Te infant mortality was above 80 per every one thousand live births; life expectancy was below 60 years of age; the prevalence of AIDS among adults in the year 2007 reached the figure of 120 000 citizens. Tens of thousands of children and adults of different ages still die every year from communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhea, dengue and malnutrition, just to mention some indicators. Even the HIV is already a disease doctors can combat, thus guaranteeing the life of patients. But this can not be achieved in a single year; it is indispensable to have a health culture, which the Haitian people are acquiring with greater interest. The progress observed shows that it is possible to improve health indicators in a significant way.
Thirty seven thousand one hundred and nine patients
have undergone eye surgery in three ophthalmologic centers that were created in
Thanks to the Venezuelan economic cooperation, 10 Comprehensive Diagnosis Centers are being built, which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology that has already been acquired.
Far more important than the resources that could be mobilized by the international community, are the human beings that make use of those resources.
Our modest support to the people of
We could likewise speak of
What matters the most is the creation of new forms of
cooperation, so much in need by this selfish world. The UN agencies can attest
to the fact that
Nothing can be improvised in
The project of the Latin American School of Medicine
was later joined by the new training program in Cuba for doctors coming from Venezuela, Bolivia, the Caribbean
and other countries of the Third World, as long as their respective health
programs required it urgently. Today,
there are more than 24 000 youths from the
Fidel Castro Ruz