The Cuban-American extreme right-wing is still looking for arguments to attack the restoration of relations between Cuba and US (1). And by the way, to damage the image of the Government of Venezuela.
One of the most recent episodes: the case of a group of Cuban doctors who, having abandoned their mission in Venezuela and sought asylum in the US Embassy in Colombia, had taken months without any response from the US authorities (2).
Remember that, under the so-called Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP) (3) -a program approved in 2006 by President George W. Bush to sabotage the Cuban medical cooperation- any of the approximately 50,000 health professionals that Cuba has today at 66 countries at south of the continent (4), can get political asylum in US embassies or consulates and entry –in that way- to US (5).
A huge media campaign has been presented as a “human drama” the situation of these people, who took months in Bogotá without resources and to pay rent for their housing (6). Several of them even had to get large sums of money to pay for medical operations in Colombia (7).
It was something that the right-wing Cuban-American congressmen Ileana Ros- Lehtinen and Mario Diaz – Balart presented as evidence that the Obama administration had decided to “leave” to those people. The reason: to facilitate the ongoing diplomatic dialogue with the government in Havana (8). The truth is that, after the political pressure and major media campaign, the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced finally that emergency processed asylum of these people (9).
These “deserters” doctors had repeated to the media a very good learned script. But not only against the Government of Cuba, but above all against that of Venezuela. “Venezuela is worse than Cuba”, was the key phrase uttered by one of them in BBC in Spanish (10). “The areas where they lived (in Venezuela) were tough”, we could read in that web portal. “I lived next to a dump” or “I lived on a hill”, added the doctors with contempt. Interestingly, these people then went to live for months in the neighborhood “Patio Lindo”, which is considered as “the most dangerous” of the Colombian capital by the Mayor of Bogotá (11).
In a part of the interview also they denounced the paid of bribes to various officials. “Some of their savings (…) were losing (…) as bribe to the security forces who threatened to send them back across the frontier”, we can read. So, they were bribed by soldiers from Colombia. BBC, however, does not mention the country in this case. But it´s mentioned when the alleged corrupt officials are Venezuelan ones. Cuban pediatrician Maite (…) -we read- paid U$S 500 to “a friend” that cleared her of Venezuela”.
BBC used euphemisms to camouflage the scandalous complicity of the government of Colombia with the US program of recruitment of Cuban doctors. “In Colombia –BBC says- they can stay through a pirouette of the country’s immigration system. (…) Although Cubans need visas to enter to Colombia (…) the authorities give them a document (…) which says that they do not deport them during the process of the CMPP (Cuban Medical Professional Parole)”.
Of course, neither BBC nor other mass media do the slightest critical analysis of the immorality of this program of the State Department, which violates the right to health of millions of poor people around the world, attended exclusively by Cuban cooperation (12). Nor is questioned selfishness and pettiness of these doctors, whom the Cuban government did not charge a penny for their medical studies.
Nor is there a single data that reports about the social scale of the Barrio Adentro Venezuelan health program, in which there are inserted almost 30,000 thousand Cuban collaborators nowdays. In 12 years, this program has carried out 704 million free consultations, including 11 million of dental consultations (13). The calculation of lives saved was about 700,000 million until 2014 (14). Before the program -which reaches 80 % of the population of Venezuela now- over 60 % of the people who live at the popular neighborhoods -the so-called “hills” that one of the deserter doctors mentioned contemptuously- had never seen a doctor (15).
Today, when Venezuela is under an enormous political and media attack from Colombia, supported by these same mass media, these people have given to serve as disposable puppets for the strategists of psychological warfare against Cuba and Venezuela (16).
(José Manzaneda, Cubainformacion´s coordinator )