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Cuba makes its La Paz clinic available to the Bolivian people

declaracion-del-minrex-3Cuba makes the clinic available to the Bolivian people, denouncing its usurpation by the coup government and demanding immediate respect for its rights as the legitimate owner of the building via diplomatic notes No. 1079/20, from the Republic of Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Relations, April 13, 2020; and No. 26/20, dated June 18, 2020, from the Cuban embassy in La Paz, respectively, to which no response has been received

De facto authorities in Bolivia, on the afternoon of July 21, publicly reported that the building known as the “Clinica del Colaborador,” owned by the Republic of Cuba, which was violently raided by police on November 15, 2019, would be made available, in the next few days, to treat Bolivian citizens with COVID-19.

This unilateral decision, which is presented as a humanitarian act, constitutes a violation of the rights of the Republic of Cuba as the legal owner of the aforementioned property, preceded by disregard for international law and an incessant campaign of lies and distortions about Cuba, particularly directed against the medical cooperation that our country provided in Bolivia, a campaign that this Ministry denounced in a statement, January 25, 2020.

It must be recalled that, in November of 2019, Bolivian authorities, with the leadership and support of the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, arrested several Cuban health collaborators under false pretenses and conducted searches and raids of their homes, while publicly inciting violence against our health personnel. This campaign has not stopped and is being used for internal electoral purposes.

The facility occupied by the Clinica del Colaborador was purchased and expanded by the Cuban State, in strict compliance with Bolivian law. It is located at 163 22nd Street, on the corner of Enrique Herson in the Achumani area of the city of La Paz. In accordance with Resolution 0410 of April 4, 2007, the Bolivian Ministry of Health, in accordance with the powers conferred by Act No. 3351 of February 21, 2006, the Ministry authorized the operation of the center to provide care for Cuban professionals working in the health and education sectors in the country.

The facility includes a 2-story house and a 3-story building. The small facility has 13 hospital beds, 6 for inpatient cases, 4 for observation and 3 for intensive care. It was one of the 158 health facilities where, by virtue of the 1985 Scientific-Technical Cooperation Agreement in the area of health between the governments of Cuba and Bolivia, and its subsequent updates, 18,015 Cuban health professionals offered the sister Bolivian people 73,557,935 medical consultations, performed 1, 533,016 surgeries, of which 727,138 were ophthalmological, and assisted 60,792 births. As part of this collaboration, 5,184 young Bolivians have graduated from medical school in our country.

In Bolivia, Cuba’s health collaborators provided their services in 34 Community Integral Hospitals, 119 Community Integral Centers and 5 ophthalmologic centers, in nine departments, 28 provinces and 42 municipalities in the country.

Since the above-mentioned raid, Bolivian authorities have arbitrarily denied personnel from the Cuban embassy access to the Clinica del Colaborador.

The Cuban government has demanded the immediate restoration of its rights as the legitimate owner of the aforementioned property, through diplomatic notes No. 1079/20, from the Republic of Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Relations, April 13, 2020; and No. 26/20, dated June 18, 2020, from the Cuban embassy in La Paz, respectively, to which no response has been received

We have attentively followed the tragic events the sister people of Bolivia are facing, suffering more than 60,000 SARS-COV-2 infections and more than 2,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to official data. Bolivia’s health system has not been able effectively confront the pandemic, and is on the verge of collapse. Unfortunately, doctors and health workers have been infected and died, among them several young Bolivian graduates of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Cuba, who have honorably done their duty.

In this context, many Bolivian organizations and citizens have addressed Cuba, both publicly and privately, requesting support from Cuban health personnel and medicines that have proved effective with COVID-19 patients. Many have noted the contribution that would have been made by the Cuban Medical Brigade that was providing services in Bolivia before the coup, if it had been present.

The generous Cuban people have not renounced their altruistic vocation. Aware that the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic requires urgent joint efforts of cooperation and solidarity and, without relinquishing ownership of the Clinica del Colaborador property or our rights as the legitimate owner, the Cuban government makes its use available to the sister Bolivian people to assist COVID-19 patients, as long as the crisis situation generated by this pandemic continues in Bolivia.

Havana, July 23, 2020.

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