The myth and reality of Cuban health care 


The myth of Cuban health care has been debunked in article after article, for the last six decades. (Remember that the Castro brothers took power in 1959.) I invite you to see the reality of Cuban health care system.

The perfect business

Manuel Castro Rodríguez

Oct 24, 2014


It is estimated that  Cuba has sent more than 185,000 health workers abroad in the last 50 years. As a consequence of its medical diplomacy, Castro’s Cuba has accumulated considerable symbolic capital (goodwill, prestige, influence, credit, and power) and receives nearly eight billion dollars annually; it is the main source of income for Cuba. Besides, sending health workers abroad boosts the image of a country whose human rights record is criticized. 


For years it had been a state secret that Cuba keeps a sizable part of the payment it receives for its “proletarian internationalists.” But, in 2010, official Cuban sources started discussing these revenues in the context of their importance to the economy. A need to explain the large export services appearing in the national accounts, a proliferation of news reports referring to the payments, and the lingering absence of health workers in Cuba apparently convinced them it was impossible to maintain the ruse any longer.


There’s concern over how much of that money actually makes it back to the doctors themselves and how much is kept for the Cuban government. When Cuba sends health professionals abroad, the host government pays the Cuban government directly. Cuba, in turn, pays the workers far less and obtains excessive profits.


Agreements with host countries are kept secret, but some details of the income generated for Castro’s Cuba have emerged over the years. Terms vary depending on the country, but typically the host country pays Cuba a hard-currency sum for each health worker; currently, for example, it has been reported at US$5,000 in Angola and US$2,784 in Namibia. Haiti does not paid Cuba directly; instead, NGOs, other governments, and international organizations fund Cuba’s medical brigade, and apparently with many millions of dollars.


Beginning in 2002, successive annual agreements with Venezuela have institutionalized Cuba’s international health services, providing critical aid to Cuba’s ailing economy. Some 30,000 Cubans health care professionals are believed to be in Venezuela alone, which provides the Castro regimewith about 92,000 barrels of oil a day worth an estimated total value of about US$3.2 billion a year.The oil-for-doctors agreement is very lucrative for Cuba because of preferential pricing for Cuba’s professional services exports and because Venezuela absorbs the loss for any escalation of oil prices.


In Venezuela and other countries the host government pays Cuba around US$5,000 per month per doctor and Cuba pays them less than US$300. In countries such as Haiti, the Cuban government receives large sums in payment coming in part from other countries and international organizations, while replicating the exploitation scheme.


In some countries, the Cubans doctors must work under harsh conditions and in dangerous locations. In Venezuela, for example, many are sent to the jungle or to violent neighborhoods; dozens have been killed, injured, robbed or raped.


Brazil currently has 1.9 physicians per thousand people, according to the World Bank, one of the lowest doctor-to-patient ratios in the world. Foreign doctors in a Brazilian government program receive a monthly salary of 10,000 reals ($4,080). In the case of the Cubans doctors, the Brazilian government sends their wages to the Castro regimethrough the Pan-American Health Organization. The Cuban government then decides how much each doctor will receive.


Under Brazil’s Mais Médicos (“More Doctors”) program, which pays foreign physicians to work in underserved areas of the country, Cuba sent 4,500 doctors to rural areas in the Amazon and to the underserved slums known as favelas in its booming cities.The Cuban government received $270 million dollars a year from the Brazilian government, hard currency that Havana desperately needs. Besides, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) finances the modernization of the Port of Mariel, in Cuba. According to the Brazilian opposition candidate, Aecio Neves,


I can reveal here today to Brazil the real reasons why this loan has been labeled a “secret,” which is different from what she has spoken about. I received a document today and I am asking that it be sent to the Attorney General to investigate. It's a document from the Ministry of Economic Development, which says that the financing for Cuba is not like that normally given to other countries, where the deadline for payments is between 12 and 25 years. But the most concerning part is that all the financing solicitations by the Brazilian government and technical group were for guarantees to be given in a hard currency, usually U.S. dollars or Euros, from a credible international bank. Instead, the Brazilian government accepted that the guarantees be given in Cuban pesos from a bank on the island of Cuba. Is it fair to use the Brazilian people’s money to do favors for a “friendly” country that does not even respect democracy?


The temporary export of Cuban doctors also provides a safety valve for disgruntled medical professionals who earn much less at home than less skilled workers in the tourism sector (Julia Cooke explains in The New York Times). Their earning opportunities abroad are significant both within the confines of medical diplomacy and even more so, beyond it. 


Castro’s Cuba announced it will send nearly 300 more medical workers to Ebola-stricken countries, adding to the 165 workers that recently arrived in Sierra Leone. For the Castro regime, the Ebola response is business as usual. Do not forget that even if it doesn’t feel like it, the Castro brothers are the best businessmens in the world!

Cuban doctors fight Ebola in West Africa ‘voluntarily’


The world is full of praise for Cuba: No other country has sent as many doctors to West Africa. Critics of the communist regime, however, believe Havana’s using its doctors for political purposes - and at a hefty markup.


Cuba is showing the capitalist world how crisis aid should work. Since the beginning of October, the communist island nation has sent more than 250 doctors and caregivers to West Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 50 more are soon to follow.


Since the beginning of the outbreak in March, some 4,500 people have lost their lives to the Ebola virus, mostly in the African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.


Internationally, the Castro regime’s health push has been very well received. Both Margaret Chan, the WHO’s general secretary, and the “Ebola czar” for the United Nations, David Nabarro, have personally thanked President Raul Castro and his health minister Robert Morales for their support. Even Cuba’s archenemy, the United States, has praised its neighbor’s actions.


Largest delegation


Cuba casts a shadow upon other nations with its contingent of helpers. And not for the first time: Cuban doctors and nurses were also rushed to Pakistan-administered Kashmir after the catastrophic earthquake there in 2005; there were many more Cuban doctors and nurses there, in fact, than Pakistan itself sent. And in 2010 they were the first on the scene after a similarly disastrous earthquake struck Haiti.


Other nations support crisis regions, sending helpers and supplies as well. The procses can take a long time, however, as the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa has made tragically evident.


But “Cuba is a special case,” says Jose Luis Di Fabio, who heads the WHO’s Havana office.


“The country has the ability to react very quickly because of the experience of the physicians and the political will to do so,” he said.


Earning billions


It’s precisely the country’s “political will” that Antonio Guedes judges from a completely different perspective. Guedes is a Cuban, a doctor, and president of the exile party Cuban Liberal Union (ULC) in Madrid.


For him, the political course Cuba is charting does not have altruism at its core. Rather, the regime in Havana is more interested in international attention and goodwill.


“Cuba is doing this first and foremost to polish its political image, secondly for economic reasons, and thirdly, so that countries that have received their help will vote in Cuba’s favor in international forums like the United Nations,” Guedes told DW.


A staggering 50,000 employees of the Cuban health ministry are currently serving abroad in 66 countries, according to the ministry. Of those, 30,000 are stationed in Venezuela. There are 12,000 in Brazil, 2,000 in Angola, and a further 2,000 in other parts of Africa.


In total, almost a third of Cuba’s 83,000 doctors are working in foreign countries.


The government in Havana earns more than six billion euros a year ($7.6 billion) through these doctors, because only a fraction of what the doctors cost these foreign nations are paid out in their salaries.


Brazil pays Havana 3,100 euros per doctor per month. Only because of pressure from Brazil’s government do these doctors now get at least 900 euros per month. According to WHO representative Di Fabio, the Cuban government receives a daily flat rate of 190 euros per helper.


The Cuban Embassy in Berlin did not respond to DW’s request for information as to the salaries of doctors in Ebola-affected regions.


Severe conditions


Cuban health should expect to be in Africa for six months. By comparison, doctors with international aid organization “Doctors without Borders” remain at the Ebola mission for only six weeks, since the work and safety precautions are so demanding.


To learn the proper handling and use of equipment, Cuban medical personnel must complete and three week course at the ‘Pedro Kouri’ Institute of Tropical Medicine. However, should they become infected, said institute director Jorge Pérez, they will be treated in a special ward for international aid workers until they are healed or die from the disease.


By comparison, volunteers from “Doctors Without Borders” who become infected with Ebola are immediately transferred to their home country and treated there, so they can be as close as possible to their families.


Given the lack of supplies in Cuba, the decision is understandable, says Guedes, but says this is also a sign of the inhumanity of the regime in Havana.


Nevertheless, 15,000 volunteers from the Caribbean island are said to have signed up for duty to fight Ebola.


Possible, says Guedes, but unlikely.


According to the ULC leader, there is no such thing as “voluntary” in Cuba. “Whoever does not cooperate may lose his job, or at least his position, or his son will not get a place at university.” 


All of this, thinks Guedes, who runs a medical center in Madrid, does not take away from the result, of course. “Naturally it is always good when people, no matter where in the world, receive the help they need.”


Según ha explicado a CNN el representante en Cuba de la Organización Mundial de la Salud, José Luis di Fabio, cada uno de los miembros del equipo médico cubano ha viajado a África  a condición de que no será repatriado en caso de contagio o muerte como consecuencia del virus.

Hasta el 15 de octubre de 2014, 427 trabajadores sanitarios habían sido infectados con el ébola en África. De ellos, 233 murieron, según reporta la Organización Mundial de la Salud. El total de contagiados con el virus asciende a 8.935, de los cuales ya han fallecido 4.455.

El contingente prometido por los hermanos Castro es de 461 colaboradores, que se repartirán entre Sierra Leona, Guinea y Liberia.

El Gobierno de Liberia prohibió a los periodistas entrar a las unidades de tratamiento del ébola, por lo que será muy difícil saber si algún cubano contrae el virus.

Cuba’s Ebola boot camp

Los hemos instruido para que no se enfermen pero ellos corren un gran riesgo de contagiarse. Deseamos que no haya ninguna víctima aunque estamos convencidos de que alguno se contaminará”,  dijo el Dr. Jorge Pérez Ávila -director del Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kourí (IPK)- al reportero de CNN, Patrick Opmann.

About three thousand Cuban professionals, most of them physicians, abandoned Venezuelan government programs in 2013, exceed the figure recorded in 2011 (500 doctors).

El peligro que representa

la diplomacia médica del régimen castrista

Médicos de Cuba en África Occidental

What would happen if the Ebola virus came to Cuba?

Manuel Castro Rodríguez


After more than a century, cholera has returned to Cuba. Along with the re-emergence of dengue, a mosquito-born disease, both the local population and tourists visiting the island remain at risk today. This is no surprise since Cuba’s deteriorated water, sewage, sanitation and housing systems all create the ideal environment for rapid disease spread.


According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Cuban health authorities have reported more than 700 cases of cholera, including 3 deaths, since July 2012. If they reported 700 cases, then the real number is 7,000. Cuban healthcare system is notorious for spreading disease and misrepresents information. Cuban doctors can not report these data are false, to avoid being punished with prison sentences up. For example, the worlds leading general medical journal published Cuba: doctors imprisoned

Correo enviado

al secretario de Estado de Estados Unidos

sobre la diplomacia médica del régimen castrista

Manuel Castro Rodríguez

Oct 18, 2014 

Please hand over to Secretary of State John Kerry


John Kerry

Secretary of State


Dear Mr. Kerry:


First of all, accept my respectful greeting. Thank you for taking the time to read me. I am a Cuban economist and statistician, a professor and a human rights activist. My name is Manuel Castro Rodríguez. My son is a doctor who lives in Cuba.


I’m negatively surprised with Kerry acknowledges Cuba role in Ebola fight, because it distorts the reality of my homeland. Of course, immediately the Castro regime began to use his statements for political and propaganda purposes.


The latest batch being sent to help in west Africa’s Ebola crisis are part of a 50,000-strong foreign legion of Cuban doctors and healthcare workers spread across 66 countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, according to Cuba’s Health Ministry. But there is a growing shortage of doctors in Cuba. Mr. Kerry, I invite you to watch the video.


US researcher Julie Feinsilver wrote a study for Georgetown University, Fifty years of Cuba’s medical diplomacy: from idealism to pragmatism. The abstract of which is,


Medical diplomacy, the collaboration between countries to simultaneously produce health benefits and improve relations, has been a cornerstone of Cuban foreign policy since the outset of the revolution fifty years ago. It has helped Cuba garner symbolic capital (goodwill, influence, and prestige) well beyond what would have been possible for a small, developing country, and it has contributed to making Cuba a player on the world stage. In recent years, medical diplomacy has been instrumental in providing considerable material capital (aid, credit, and trade), as the oil-for-doctors deals with Venezuela demonstrates. This has helped keep the revolution afloat in trying economic times. What began as the implementation of the one of the core values of the revolution, namely health as a basic human right for all peoples, has continued as both an idealistic and a pragmatic pursuit. This article examines the factors that enabled Cuba to conduct medical diplomacy over the past fifty years, the rationale behind the conduct of this type of soft power politics, the results of that effort, and the mix of idealism and pragmatism that has characterized the experience. Moreover, it presents a typology of medical diplomacy that Cuba has used over the past fifty years.


So when Ebola struck in West Africa, Cuba was quick to step up to the plate. In recent weeks, it has dispatched 165 health workers to Sierra Leone, making it the largest nation-provider of medial professionals working to help contain the epidemic. And it’s preparing to send another nearly 300 workers to Liberia and Guinea in the coming weeks. Cuban state media reports that some 15,000 health professionals have expressed an interest in traveling to West African nations to help. Why Cuban doctors accept put their lives in danger?


Cuban doctors accept to be far away from their families for years and to work in inhospitable and even dangerous places because:


1- It is the only way they can acquire some goods and own appliances of which, in Cuba, due to their meager salaries, they cannot even dream.


2- Totry to escape from communism.


As you know, Cuba is a totalitarian communist state headed by General Raúl Castro where:


1- There’s no freedom of expression.


2- There’s no freedom of association. The regime does not allow any independent labor union to operate legally. The opposites of the dictatorship can not organize political parties.


3- There are no children’s rights. For example:

        a) The brainwashing begins in kindergarten.

b) The abuse of minors in Cuban detention centers.

c) The use of child soldiers.


4- The parents are not freedomto educate their sons and daughters.


5- There’s no religious freedom.


6- There’s no freedom of enterprise.


7- There’s no due process protection.


8- Although Cuba migration reform, there’s no freedom of movement for tens of thousands of Cubans.


9- There are no free elections.


10- There are continued repressive actions against human rights activists and human rights victims complaining of abuses.


Thus, many Cubans with college degrees have died attempting to escape from communism.


Mr. Kerry, I invite you to read Exported to Venezuela, miserable Cuban doctors clamor to get into U.S. and Medical union condemns contract for Cuban doctors to work in Portugal as “slavery”.


Many medical associations in host countries have denounced the poor quality of the Cuban medical services, both from a professional point of view as well as from a public health perspective. Besides, the export of doctors as workers of the Cuban government violates the basic labor rights of these doctors as well as of doctors in the host countries. According to The Guardian,


A video of the encounter in Ceará shows Brazilian doctors chanting “slave” at the Cubans. This appeared to be a reference to a payment system under which the Cuban government will receive more than a quarter of the doctors' £2,700 monthly salaries.


When Cuba sends health professionals abroad, the host government pays the Cuban government directly. Cuba, in turn, pays the workers far less and obtains excessive profits. In Venezuela and other countries the host government pays Cuba around US$5,000 per month per doctor and Cuba pays them less than US$300. In countries such as Haiti, the Cuban government receives large sums in payment coming in part from other countries and international organizations, while replicating the exploitation scheme. In some countries, the doctors must work under harsh conditions and in dangerous locations. In Venezuela, for example, many are sent to the jungle or to violent neighborhoods; dozens have been killed, injured, robbed or raped.


The regime’s propaganda used to describe Cuba as a so-called “world medical power”, but later they chastely ceased to employ such an ambitious and inexact designation. During the score of years elapsed since the end of Soviet subsidies, the deterioration on health care in Cuba has only become more and more evident.


During the past three decades, the situation has become worse in regards to insufficiency or complete lack of indispensable medical materials, such as anesthetics, scalpels, dispensable syringes, or even elementary medicines such as aspirin or nose drops.Those unlucky enough to have a relative interned in one of our hospitals are forced to bring the commonest of items, such as sheets, pillows, pajamas, a bucket or an electric fan; all such things -and even water- are usually lacking in Cuban hospitals.


Under the Cuban government’s health care monopoly, the state assumes complete control. Private, non-governmental health facilities, where ailing citizens could buy treatment, are illegal. As a result, average Cubans suffer long waits at government hospitals, while many services and technologies are available only to the Cuban party elite and foreign ‘health tourists’ who pay with hard currency.


Many Cubans complain that top-level government and Communist Party officials have access to VIP health treatment, while ordinary people must queue from dawn for a routine test, with no guarantee that the allotted numbers will not run out before it is their turn.


Katherine Hirschfeld –professor of Department of Anthropology at University of Oklahoma-lived nine months in Cuba. Hirschfeld arrived enthusiastic and positively inclined, with plans to spend a year in Santiago de Cuba exploring “Cuba’s achievements in social medicine,” and left seriously questioning them.  What happened?


Katherine Hirschfeld interviewed family doctors, medical specialists, social workers, nurses and patients as part of her research. Besides, the misfortune of contracting dengue, while doing fieldwork for her doctoral thesis, provided Hirschfeld the opportunity to experience health care in Cuba from the patient’s standpoint. Her opinion underwent “a dramatic transformation.” In 2007, Hirschfeld published Health, Politics, and Revolution in Cuba Since 1898.


Hirschfeld details the three levels of healthcare in Cuba. One for foreigners paying in hard currency; an excellent system with great equipment and medication. Other for the military and high government and party officials. Again, this system is excellent. On the contrary, the one most Cubans deal with is poor; there is a shortage of equipment and medication; and now many of the physicians serving them are sent abroad for humanitarian purposes.


Mr. Kerry, there are reports that many citizens excluded from the foreign-only hospitals often must bring their own bed sheets and cleaning supplies while in care. Access to such rudimentary medicines as antibiotics and aspirin can be limited.


Cuban Americans have been sending their relatives in Cuba medicines and prescription eyeglasses for decades. And after the legalization of the dollar in Cuba, they have been sending millions of dollars to their relatives so they can purchase their own medicines at Castro’s dollar-only stores.


And some of the medicines donated to Cuba by charitable organizations from the U.S. and many other countries are sold in those dollar-only stores. Also, Cuban citizens have to pay for some medical treatments and procedures made available to them in dollars only -in spite of Castro’s claims of free health care.


The doctor can prescribe medicine which, in theory, can be purchased for practically nothing at state-owned pharmacies, the only pharmacies that exist. Many medicines that cannot be found at a pharmacy are easily bought on the black market. Some doctors, nurses and cleaning staff smuggle the medicine out of the hospitals in a bid to make extra cash, to compensate for low wages and attempt to live a better life. Chronic and widespread shortages have made Cuba one of the world’s most corrupt states.


Mr. Kerry, I invite you to read editorial from The Economist,  Medicine is big business in Cuba,  and if you want to know the truth about of Cuban healthcare system, I invite you to watch the videos and photos:


Photos of psychiatric patients who died of hunger and cold


Quality of services in the healthcare system that can use average Cubans


Apartheid in the Cuban healthcare system


Why after of 130 years without cholera, Cuba suffers officially from 2012?


Mr. Kerry, I invite you to watch the videos that show the misery that suffers the Cuban people.


Ebola virus is now in America with two transmissions on U.S. soil confirmed in Dallas and officials calling additional transmissions to health workers a “very real possibility.”  United States  has the resources to control the disease,  but  what would happen if the Ebola virus came to Cuba? Fear of an Ebola outbreak may be widespread because of the severity of the virus, the conditions under which it  is  Cuban healthcare system, and the deplorable living conditions of the Cuban people.


Mr. Kerry, can you answer my request please?


Thanking you in advance for your attention,


Manuel Castro Rodríguez

¿Qué pasaría si el ébola llega a Cuba?

Dr. Jeovany Jiménez Vega

16 de octubre de 2014


Esto es algo no desestimable, y dejó de ser una posibilidad remota después de la partida de un destacamento de cientos de profesionales cubanos


La irrupción del ébola en el panorama epidemiológico mundial obviamente implicará un gigantesco reto para todo país que sea alcanzado por la actual epidemia, ya registrada como la mayor de la historia y que por estos días acaba de redondear los 9000 casos confirmados –aunque expertos aseguran que esta cifra debe ser un subregistro.


La OMS recién denunció que la epidemia no está siendo enfrentada con todo el rigor político que el momento exige por parte de la comunidad internacional y además alertó que de no ser controlada la situación a tiempo, para 2015 se prevé la incidencia de alrededor de un millón y medio de casos.


Es fácil concluir que llegados a ese estado de cosas el peligro no haría más que crecer exponencialmente. Estamos ante una enfermedad extremadamente contagiosa, de transmisión no vectorial, que puede ser propagada de persona a persona mediante el más sutil contacto con cualquier fluido corporal del individuo enfermo –y que para colmo puede tener transmisión sexual, pues el virus se aísla en el semen hasta transcurridos 90 días de convalecencia.


Aunque se acaba de poner en práctica un primer ensayo clínico de vacunación, lo concreto es que por ahora los protocolos de tratamiento médico continúan en ciernes ante una enfermedad que en brotes anteriores ha llegado a alcanzar una letalidad de entre el 90 y el 100% de los casos, y ante la cual sólo puede apostarse por el tratamiento de sus severas complicaciones y por practicar las habituales medidas de sostén vital. Hoy ante el hombre se alza amenazante uno de los chicos malos de la virología, que exige la implementación de las medidas más extremas de contención biológica, así como del uso de personal más especializado y escrupulosamente entrenado para su manipulación.


Semejante panorama nos coloca ante la pregunta más elemental: ¿qué pasaría si el ébola irrumpe en Cuba? Esto es algo no desestimable, y dejó de ser una posibilidad remota después de la partida de un destacamento de cientos de profesionales cubanos destinado a los países africanos azotados por la epidemia.


Recordemos la posibilidad de que fuera esa la vía utilizada por el cólera para reaparecer en nuestro país, importado desde Haití, después de una ausencia de 120 años, y ni qué decir del ya sempiterno dengue.


La irrupción de esta peligrosísima enfermedad en Cuba podría simplemente cobrar matices de tragedia. Más allá de lo disipadas que pueden llegar a ser las costumbres de los habitantes del caimán, me inclina a temer por esto las vivencias de quien ha visto con demasiada frecuencia el uso sistemático de material reciclable, práctica habitual en Cuba aun cuando hace mucho tiempo el mundo apostó definitivamente por el uso exclusivo de material desechable: aterra la idea de centros de atención a estos pacientes terminando por reciclar trajes, guantes u otros materiales porque algún sesudo del “nivel superior” se le ocurra asegurar que esto “garantizaría” la seguridad bajo tales circunstancias.


En un país donde muchísimas veces un médico no tiene en su consulta algo tan básico como agua corriente y jabón para asearse las manos, ya se comprenderá lo que implicaría la demanda del costoso material mínimo exigido para manipular pacientes con ébola, y si además tomamos en cuenta que la casi generalidad de nuestra infraestructura hospitalaria no está diseñada ni preparada objetivamente para la contención de un flagelo de este tipo, ya podremos ir elevando una plegaria a la virgencita para que nos ampare del trance.


Por otra parte no olvidemos cuán reticentes se han mostrado las autoridades cubanas para informar públicamente sobre la incidencia de epidemias cuando considera que esto puede arriesgar la afluencia de turistas o la celebración exitosa de algún evento internacional relevante –la megaepidemia cubana de dengue de 2006 continúa siendo un excelente ejemplo al respecto.


Con todos estos antecedentes a mano se sienten escalofríos ante la posibilidad aquí considerada y quedan en suspenso las preguntas. ¿Estará el Sistema de Salud Pública cubano preparado para controlar un brote de ébola con la celeridad requerida? ¿Tendremos los profesionales cubanos el entrenamiento, la metodología, e incluso la disciplina necesaria para enfrentar adecuadamente una contingencia de este calibre –y que bien poco se parece a cuanto hayamos enfrentado antes? Llegado el momento ¿estaría dispuesto nuestro gobierno a informar sin tapujos al pueblo y al mundo sobre la verdad? ¿Tendría la humildad de reconocerse incapaz de controlarla y solicitaría ayuda este “infalible” gobierno que ha exportado decenas de misiones médicas alrededor del mundo?


Ya a nivel internacional puede ser discutible la estrategia seguida hasta ahora por la OMS –que ha aceptado estar ante el problema epidemiológico más grave desde la aparición del SIDA– en cuanto al traslado de los enfermos extranjeros para recibir tratamiento en sus respectivos países. Obviamente esto aumenta de modo considerable las posibilidades de propagación transcontinental del virus.


En cambio sería mucho más recomendable y seguro crear las condiciones adecuadas en el país donde se confirme cada caso mediante una red centralizada y funcional de instalaciones de campaña correctamente equipadas y con todo el rigor de seguridad que se presupone, donde rápidamente se diagnostique, aísle y trate in situ a cada paciente. Por ejemplo valdría la pena considerar, para implementar esta variante de contingencia, el inmediato acondicionamiento de islotes africanos costeros deshabitados bajo la supervisión de los expertos de la OMS y de organizaciones afines como Médicos sin Fronteras.


Medidas análogas a estas, y al margen de cualquier valoración legal o política, serían más convenientes y efectivas para la contención de esta epidemia. Incluso la ONU –que llegó a ventilar el tema a nivel de Consejo de Seguridad– podría emitir resoluciones enérgicas que respalden y reglamenten estas variantes, y todo quedaría justificado por la gravedad de un momento que no se pinta para paños tibios. Se impone tomar las medidas más enérgicas en todo lugar donde se constate la enfermedad, si con estas medidas se deriva en el rápido control de la situación –incluido el recurso extremo de la cuarentena militar donde llegara a ser evidentemente aplicable y necesaria.


Cierto que esta propuesta puede ofrecerse a muy variadas lecturas, pero en términos operativos prácticos pudiera llegar a constituirse en la única variante que garantizara soluciones concretas que detengan el avance de este temible azote. Pudiera tratarse aquí del ahora o nunca: vivimos momentos críticos que exigen medidas críticas. Lo que no se acometa hoy por falta de voluntad política, indolencia gubernamental o timidez de las instituciones mundiales, sin lugar a dudas se cobrará mañana a un coste económico y humano muchísimo más dramático y global.

Is Cuba Sending Unqualified Health Workers to West Africa?

October 20, 2014


The Cuban dictatorship is willing to sacrifice anything -- or anyone -- for the sake of propaganda.

This appears to be the case of the health workers it has sent to West Africa to work on the Ebola virus.

The details that have been filtering out of Cuba regarding the terms and conditions that the Castro regime has given to these health workers are very concerning.

For example, the Cuban health workers have been
compelled to agree that if they contract the Ebola virus, they will not be repatriated to the island.

Moreover, they have been
warned of a 90% chance of no return.

As such, there has been a life insurance policy taken out for these health workers with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Surely the families are the beneficiaries of the policies, right?

Nope -- the Cuban state is.

(It remains unclear whether the WHO is further paying the Castro regime for these health workers.)

Those fortunate enough to return have been “promised” nearly $10,000 per month -- to be deposited in a Cuban state bank account during their absence -- as well as a house and car.

This would set them up extremely handsomely -- for life -- in Cuba.

Of course, whether the Castro regime intends to actually fulfill this “promise” is another question. Just ask the veterans of Cuba's African wars.

Castro knows that Cubans are desperate enough to accept these terms. After all, there's at least a chance for survival if you contract Ebola, while there's no chance for survival if you're caught by sharks in the Florida Straits.

But it seems that the Castro regime is not counting on their return.

Adding to this concern is the fact that the Cuban health workers sent to West Africa appear to be poorly trained (at best) or utterly unqualified (at worst).

As the
Wall Street Journal reported last week:

An Australian World Health Organization official responsible for training them on Ebola care watched in concern as the Cubans swapped hand-clasps, pats on backs and other potentially hazardous displays of physical affection. Public-health officials warn Ebola can spread on contact, with the virus carried in bodily fluids like sweat.

“They’re a very cuddly people,” said Katrina Roper, a technical officer with the U.N. agency. “Tomorrow will be me explaining why they have to stop shaking hands and sharing things.”

Such irresponsibility may only exacerbate the problem.

But hey -- sacrifice anything, or anyone, for propaganda.

Meanwhile, in another simplistic, haphazard and obviously ill-informed editorial today,
The New York Times tells us this approach should be “lauded and emulated.”

Carne de cañón

Camilo Venegas

22 de octubre de 2014


La dictadura de Cuba está en condiciones de encabezar la lucha mundial contra el ébola y cualquier causa que se le ocurra a los dinosaurios que la encabezan. En mi país viven 11 millones de habitantes, pero solo pueden opinar libremente una persona y media.


Obviamente, nadie se va a oponer, ni siquiera los médicos que empujaron al corazón de la epidemia como carne de cañón. Se marchan con la esperanza de legarle a sus familiares más cercanos un puñado de dólares, aunque sea lo mínimo para sobrevivir en un país donde ya no hay mucha diferencia entre estar vivo y estar muerto.


En 1989, en una intervención donde le ratificó la pena de muerte a un antiguo compañero de armas y al más capaz de sus generales, Fidel Castro admitió que hacía un año que no se ocupaba de los asuntos del país. Antes que resolver las necesidades más apremiantes de sus compatriotas, al comandante le resultaba más excitante una lejana guerra.


Por eso se encerró en su despacho frente a un enorme mapa de Angola y se dedicó a mover fichas. 25 años después nada parece haber cambiado. Ahora Cuba y su máximo líder son dos cuerpos muy desmejorados, que apenas se pueden sostener, pero aún parecen estar en condiciones de volver a una contienda en el “África ardiente”.


Los cubanos y las ruinas de su nación pueden volver a esperar. En 1989 los titulares de la prensa internacional destacaron el decisivo papel del régimen de la isla para acabar con el Apartheid. En 2014, hasta The New York Times ha alabado su rol en la lucha contra el ébola.


Una de dos, o son unos hipócritas o unos estúpidos; porque de todos los actos de demagogia del régimen este puede ser el mayor, por la desesperación y el cinismo que entrañan.

Cuban Doctors at the Forefront of Ebola Battle in Africa

By Drew Hinshaw in Freetown, Sierra Leone,

and  Betsy McKay in Atlanta

Oct. 9, 2014


Island Nation Outpaces Larger Countries in Sending Medical Staff; Unlikely Partner for U.S.


With risks growing that Ebola could flare on foreign shores, the U.S. is calling for nations to dispatch doctors and nurses to West Africa, where thousands of lives are on the line. Few have heeded the call, but one country has responded in strength: Cuba.


In the weeks since U.S. President Barack Obama sent the first of nearly 4,000 troops to West Africa, the struggle to quell Ebola has created odd bedfellows. Perhaps none is quite so odd as the sight of Cuban doctors joining forces with the U.S. military to combat Ebola in West Africa. Cuba has long had an antagonistic relationship with its northern neighbor, the U.S.


The U.S. is stepping up the training of health workers to fight Ebola. WSJ's Betsy McKay reports on the News Hub with Simon Constable. Photo: AP


Aspiring global heavyweights China, India and Russia have done plenty of business in Africa, but their contributions to fighting the Ebola epidemic have been underwhelming thus far. And nations with some of the world’s most advanced health-care systems have come too late with too little to the crisis, said leaders from Ebola-affected countries.


On Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for “at least a 20-fold surge in assistance” that includes “trained medical personnel.”


“The international response was slow,” said Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. On Thursday, she pleaded for more medical personnel, speaking from the capital Monrovia to a World Bank Ebola conference in Washington. “More than ever, we need qualified and dedicated staff to join the fight against Ebola.” (More: Spanish Hospital Says Condition of Worker With Ebola Worsens)


Cuba has answered that call. It has sent 165 health workers to hard-hit Sierra Leone, a disproportionately large number for a tiny island nation of 11 million people. They join cadres of medical workers in West Africa from several nations who are under the auspices of aid groups. Doctors Without Borders says it has about 250 international staff in the region and nearly 3,000 working on Ebola there overall.


Cuba has long played an outsize role in Africa, sending troops to battle the South African military out of Angola, and training guerrillas who joined Nelson Mandela ’s armed struggle against apartheid. In the early 1960s, Che Guevara traveled to try to foment revolt in the east of newly independent Democratic Republic of the Congo—only to find himself in the company of men he later judged more interested in plunder than global socialism. (More: Congress Holds Up Most of the Funding for Defense Department’s Ebola Fight)


 “We can’t liberate by ourselves a country that does not want to fight,” he wrote back in a dispirited letter to Cuban leader Fidel Castro.


Instead, the Argentine-born physician-turned-revolutionary suggested Cuba send something else: doctors. Since then, Cuba has sent tens of thousands of health workers to foreign nations. The country sent 2,500 health workers to Pakistan after its 2005 earthquake, and another 1,500 to Haiti after its 2010 earthquake, said Jorge Delgado Bustillo, head of the Cuban Medical Brigade to Sierra Leone.


By comparison, the 165 medics here represent a cautious response.


“We work on malaria, cholera, dengue, a disaster situation, floods in Venezuela, floods in Guatemala, floods in Belize,” Mr. Bustillo said. “But Ebola? It’s a first time for the Cubans.”


In a speech this month, Mr. Castro appeared to be recalling Cuba’s military exploits ahead of the doctors deployment to Sierra Leone. He called them “an army of white coats,” and vowed: “Honor and glory to our valiant fighters for health and life!” according to the excerpts from the speech that appeared in the island’s state-owned Granma newspaper.


The Cubans play down any rivalry with the Americans. “Against Ebola, we can work with anyone,” said Mr. Bustillo. “The United States? Yes, we can.”


On Wednesday, the Cuban flag stretched across an entire wall in a conference center here, as doctors squirmed in their seats, waiting more than an hour for Sierra Leone’s government to officially welcome them. An Australian World Health Organization official responsible for training them on Ebola care watched in concern as the Cubans swapped hand-clasps, pats on backs and other potentially hazardous displays of physical affection. Public-health officials warn Ebola can spread on contact, with the virus carried in bodily fluids like sweat.


“They’re a very cuddly people,” said Katrina Roper, a technical officer with the U.N. agency. “Tomorrow will be me explaining why they have to stop shaking hands and sharing things.”


Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday exhorted more nations to send health-care workers and other forms of assistance. “We need people to step up now,” he said.


That the U.S. finds itself reliant on a Cold War rival underscores the lopsided humanitarian response to the Ebola epidemic. The U.S. is the biggest donor nation, having pledged to send nearly 4,000 troops and nearly $400 million in other aid. It is sending 65 U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers to staff an Ebola ward for health-care providers in Liberia. More than 2,600 health volunteers have signed up on a government website for possible deployment with aid organizations.


Africa’s biggest trading partner, China, has said it would provide $1 million in cash, $2 million in food and specialists each to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The Asian giant is also sending 170 medical workers to Liberia, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. Currently, 58 Chinese are staffing an Ebola-treatment ward and blood-testing lab off the side of a Chinese-built clinic. Of these, 35 are drivers, handymen and chefs, said Guo Tongshing, the clinic’s chief doctor.


India, with deep trade links and air connections to West Africa, recently pledged to contribute $12.5 million, but no medical personnel. Brazil, which has spent a decade wooing African nations across the Atlantic, has contributed about $413,000.


Russia, which has also sought to rekindle Cold War allies here, sent a team of eight virologists to Guinea, once a Soviet outpost, and protective clothing.


South Africa —a country eager to cement its leadership role on the continent— has sent a mobile lab to Sierra Leone. There is no record of any monetary contribution from the country.


African health workers are part of the crisis response, though. The African Union has sent about 75 medical workers, and Uganda, which has extensive experience with Ebola, has sent 15.


Meanwhile, Japan, the world’s third-richest economy after the U.S. and China, is sending $40 million to the cause, but no personnel. Toyota Motor Corp. 7203.TO +5.18% plans to donate cars to help transport patients.


Even France, the European country with the most military bases in Africa, has been slow to send in army medics. The former colonial power will construct and operate a 50-bed clinic in Guinea, staffed with 15 French medics at a given time, in addition to Red Cross volunteers, the state agency managing medical reservists said.


The U.K. is sending in another 750 personnel to help build the dozens of clinics needed in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The clinics are required to isolate patients from their family members and break the viral chain of transmission. But it isn’t clear who will staff those clinics.


Liberia alone needs about 10,000 qualified health-care workers, and a similar number are needed in Sierra Leone, the U.S. government has said. So far, the largest single medical brigade is from Cuba in Sierra Leone.


“Cuba is the only one that I know is responding with human resources in terms of health doctors and nurses,” said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairwoman for the African Union and South African President Jacob Zuma ’s ex-wife.


It won’t be enough, said Abdulai Baratay, a spokesman for Sierra Leone’s government: “Even though we appreciate the Cubans…we still think that with the rate at which the virus is spreading, we need more people on the ground.”


Governments, China’s included, complain they simply don’t have enough experience with Ebola to send in large numbers: “This is a big challenge for our scientists,” said Qian Jun, team leader for the China Center for Disease Control Mobile Laboratory Team in Sierra Leone.


Indeed, there was no boot- or hand-washing station at the entrance of China’s Ebola ward in Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown, a critical safety measure. Instead, there was a family of cats living in the doorway, one sleeping on the steps.


“Every day our doctors, nurses, they come here on time,” said Dr. Guo, the head of the clinic. “But sometimes, the Sierra Leoneans, they don’t come.”


This is the void Cuba is filling. While consultants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are lodged in Radisson Blu resort, —at more than $200 a night— the 165 Cuban medics are living three to a room in one of Freetown’s budget hotels. The hotel’s toilets are broken. Flies buzz around soiled tablecloths where the Cubans eat in cafeteria-style shifts.


“It’s not Sierra Leone that needs us,” said Yosvany Vera, a 36-year-old doctor working his way through a greasy plate of rice. “The world needs us.”


—Matina Stevis in Johannesburg, Megumi Fujikawa in Tokyo, Gregory L. White in Moscow, Carlos Tejada in Beijing, William Horobin in Paris, Paulo Trevisani in Brasilia and Gordon Fairclough in New Delhi contributed to this article.


Write to Drew Hinshaw at and Betsy McKay at


More on Ebola

Los médicos, la materia prima exportable de Cuba

Maye Primera

17 de mayo de 2013


Tras perder a su gran aliado, Hugo Chávez, La Habana planea enviar 6.000 médicos a Brasil como política internacional


Los médicos son para Cuba lo que el petróleo para Venezuela: la materia prima de exportación que financia el grueso de su presupuesto y que sostiene su política internacional. Durante más de 50 años, la isla ha intercambiado asistencia médica internacional por ayudas económicas, créditos y arreglos comerciales con 107 países de todo el mundo. En la última década, la alianza con Venezuela ha jugado un papel fundamental en la expansión de la diplomacia médica cubana y en el sostenimiento de la economía de la isla. Pero ahora que ha muerto Hugo Chávez, su gran aliado, La Habana se ha propuesto diversificar sus mercados; concretar el envío de unos 6.000 médicos a Brasil forma parte de ese objetivo.


La última vez Hugo Chávez se refirió al tema, en febrero de 2012, dijo que en Venezuela había 44.804 profesionales cubanos de la medicina –doctores, terapistas, oftalmólogos, enfermeras-, trabajando en siete programas sociales de salud, llamados “misiones” e ideados por Fidel Castro cuando el Gobierno de Chávez atravesaba una crisis política en 2003. Caracas aún paga este servicio y otras exportaciones con el envío a La Habana de 105.000 barriles diarios petróleo. A través de este esquema de cooperación, el intercambio comercial entre ambos países llegó a superar los 8.334 millones de dólares en 2011, de acuerdo a las cifras más recientes publicadas por la Oficina Nacional de Estadística e Información de Cuba (Onei); de ellos, alrededor de 5.000 millones corresponden al pago de la misión médica.


Como paciente y como político, Chávez creyó fervientemente en la medicina cubana hasta el último de sus días. Por eso su Gobierno financió también la expansión de las “misiones” hacia varios de los países que integran la Alternativa Bolivariana para las Américas (Alba). Primero a Bolivia, donde fueron enviados 1.100 médicos en 2006; y luego a Argentina, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Haití, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panamá, Perú, Honduras, Paraguay, Uruguay, Perú, Surinam, Santa Lucía y San Vicente. Se calcula que unos 42.000 médicos prestan actualmente servicio en el extranjero y que las universidades cubanas están en capacidad de graduar a otros 5.000 cada año para suplir la demanda internacional.


Durante más de 20 años, la socióloga Julie M. Feinsilver ha estudiado el tema de la diplomacia médica cubana, que comenzó en 1960, con el envío de un contingente de médicos a Chile, sacudido por un fuerte terremoto. “Lo que empezó como la ejecución de uno de los valores esenciales de la revolución, es decir, la salud como un derecho humano básico para todas las personas, ha continuado siendo un objetivo, tanto en términos idealistas como pragmáticos”, escribió Feinsilver, en su ensayo “Cincuenta años de diplomacia médica cubana: del idealismo al pragmatismo”, publicado en 2010. “En los años recientes, la diplomacia médica ha sido instrumental en la adquisición de capital material considerable –ayuda, créditos y comercio--, como lo demuestra el arreglo con Venezuela de doctores por petróleo. Esto ha ayudado a que la revolución sobreviva en momento económicos muy difíciles”, afirma en su ensayo. Este tipo de cooperación, afirma la investigadora, también ha sumado votos en Naciones Unidas a favor de que se levante embargo que mantiene Estados Unidos contra Cuba desde los años sesenta del siglo XX.


Luego de 13 años de cooperación sostenida, el futuro económico de Cuba está íntimamente ligado al de Venezuela, atenazada hoy en día por una crisis financiera y política, consecuencia del decaimiento de la industria petrolera y de la muerte de Hugo Chávez. Susceptible a repetir la amarga experiencia del periodo especial que siguió al colapso de la Unión Soviética en 1991, Cuba ha procurado desde 2009 diversificar sus sociedades comerciales: buscar financiamiento en Rusia y reforzar sus exportaciones en la región. Ese mismo año, sus ventas de medicamentos a los países del Alba crecieron 22% respecto al año anterior; en esas operaciones, Brasil ya se perfilaba como uno de sus clientes más prometedores y hoy en día, es el segundo receptor de sus medicinas y vacunas.


La semana pasada, Brasil anunció su interés de llevar las misiones médicas cubanas a las zonas más deprimidas del país. “Se está pensando algo en torno a 6.000 o poco más de 6.000 médicos, aún estamos finalizando los entendimientos para que puedan desempeñar su actividad profesional”, explicó este 8 de mayo el canciller Antonio Patriota, durante la visita a Brasilia del canciller cubano Bruno Rodríguez. La propuesta desató una polémica en Brasil que aún se mantiene. El Consejo Federal de Medicina de ese país tildó de “irresponsable” la propuesta y cuestionó la “calidad técnica y ética” de los profesionales cubanos, a través de un comunicado. De acuerdo a cifras del consejo, 94% de los médicos cubanos y bolivianos que en 2012 se sometieron a pruebas de validación de sus títulos para ejercer la medicina en Brasil, reprobaron los exámenes.


Están graduando médicos en tiempo récord para suplir la necesidad de exportarlos y esto ha ido en detrimento de calidad de la formación de los médicos y de la medicina de Cuba, que solía ser de primera. Eso está ocurriendo desde que comenzó el programa en Venezuela, entre los años 2003 y 2004”. Al menos esa es la teoría de Julio César Alfonzo para explicar lo que ocurre. Él es médico cubano, graduado en 1992 en la Universidad de La Habana, y actual director de la organización Solidaridad Sin Fronteras, con sede en Miami, que se encarga de brindar apoyo logístico y económico a los cubanos que planean desertar de las misiones médicas internacionales.


“Esas misiones son un negocio redondo para el régimen cubano y una forma de esclavitud moderna. El Gobierno cubano puede recibir entre 2.000 y 3.000 dólares por los servicios de cada médico, sin contar el beneficio del petróleo. Y a los médicos les pagan alrededor de 250 a 300 dólares, cuando les pagan”, sostiene Alfonzo, quien estuvo poco más de un año detenido en Cuba por organizar protestas contra la política de salud de los hermanos Castro y a favor de la práctica médica independiente. En 1999, viajó a Estados Unidos como refugiado político.


En los últimos 10 años, unos 5.000 médicos, enfermeras y terapistas cubanos han desertado de las misiones internacionales; la mayoría de ellos ha ido a parar al sur del Estado de Florida. Cada semana Solidaridad Sin Fronteras recibe entre siete u ocho llamadas de Venezuela, de Nicaragua, de Bolivia, de personal médico cubano que quiere desertar. “El 95% de ellos llama desde Venezuela. Allá viven en muy malas condiciones, los envían a los peores lugares, donde están todos los delincuentes, sin ninguna garantía para su vida”, dice Alfonzo.


Hasta abril de 2010, 68 médicos cubanos habían muerto en Venezuela y para conmemorarlo, el Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Salud desveló una placa en su honor. “A los colaboradores de la salud fallecidos en tierras bolivarianas durante el cumplimiento de su deber”, dice el bronce empotrado en un centro de salud de Caracas, como si hubiesen caído en batalla. La mayoría de ellos fueron asesinados por la violencia callejera, que solo en 2012 ha matado a más 12.000 personas en todo el país.

Aljazeera sobre la medicina cubana

18 de junio de 2012


La periodista Lucia Newman dijo que aunque el sistema médico es gratuito, no es rápido ni eficiente por la falta de recursos financieros, y porque el país exporta doctores, enfermeras y dentistas a cambio de dinero en efectivo


Varios especialistas médicos consideran que la medicina en Cuba está en decadencia, por debajo de los parámetros internacionales, a pesar de que el Gobierno se jacta de que la atención médica en la isla es superior a la de los países en vías de desarrollo.


Los médicos cubanos se quejan de que ellos no tienen las mismas oportunidades para viajar, asistir a las conferencias y leer las revistas especializadas, lo que les impide estar al tanto de los últimos avances de la medicina como hacen sus colegas en otros países, y por eso sienten que se están quedando rezagados, afirmó la periodista Lucia Newman a la cadena Aljazeera.


Newman dijo que a lo largo de los años ha escuchado a muchas personas quejarse por la forma en que se han deteriorado los servicios médicos en la isla y mencionó que un creciente número de médicos cubanos han abandonado el país en busca de mejores oportunidades.


Manifestó que cuando ella viajó a Cuba en 1997 había gran escasez de productos médicos, desde una simple aspirina hasta otros medicamentos más importantes, y agregó, que irónicamente en este momento muchas medicinas que no se encuentran en una farmacia se compran fácilmente en el mercado negro.


Newman señaló que aunque la atención médica sigue siendo gratuita, varios pacientes llevan a sus doctores comida, dinero y otros regalos para estar seguros de que les van a garantizar una consulta para los rayos x, un análisis de sangre o una intervención quirúrgica.


Agregó que si el paciente no tiene “un contacto” o dinero para pagar “por debajo de la mesa”, el tiempo que tiene que esperar para recibir atención médica puede ser demasiado largo.


Newman dijo que en su gira por varios hospitales cubanos halló que no había agua corriente, los inodoros no descargaban, y el riesgo de infección era extremadamente alto.


Enfatizó que aunque el sistema médico es gratuito, no es rápido ni eficiente debido a la falta de recursos financieros, y porque el país exporta doctores, enfermeras y dentistas a cambio de dinero en efectivo.


Newman considera que el gobierno cubano puede costear tantos médicos porque les paga salarios extremadamente bajos, entre 30 y 50 dólares mensuales.

Seleccione idioma

José Martí: El que se conforma con una situación de villanía, es su cómplice”.

Mi Bandera 

Al volver de distante ribera,

con el alma enlutada y sombría,

afanoso busqué mi bandera

¡y otra he visto además de la mía!


¿Dónde está mi bandera cubana,

la bandera más bella que existe?

¡Desde el buque la vi esta mañana,

y no he visto una cosa más triste..!


Con la fe de las almas ausentes,

hoy sostengo con honda energía,

que no deben flotar dos banderas

donde basta con una: ¡La mía!


En los campos que hoy son un osario

vio a los bravos batiéndose juntos,

y ella ha sido el honroso sudario

de los pobres guerreros difuntos.


Orgullosa lució en la pelea,

sin pueril y romántico alarde;

¡al cubano que en ella no crea

se le debe azotar por cobarde!


En el fondo de obscuras prisiones

no escuchó ni la queja más leve,

y sus huellas en otras regiones

son letreros de luz en la nieve...


¿No la veis? Mi bandera es aquella

que no ha sido jamás mercenaria,

y en la cual resplandece una estrella,

con más luz cuando más solitaria.


Del destierro en el alma la traje

entre tantos recuerdos dispersos,

y he sabido rendirle homenaje

al hacerla flotar en mis versos.


Aunque lánguida y triste tremola,

mi ambición es que el sol, con su lumbre,

la ilumine a ella sola, ¡a ella sola!

en el llano, en el mar y en la cumbre.


Si desecha en menudos pedazos

llega a ser mi bandera algún día...

¡nuestros muertos alzando los brazos

la sabrán defender todavía!...


Bonifacio Byrne (1861-1936)

Poeta cubano, nacido y fallecido en la ciudad de Matanzas, provincia de igual nombre, autor de Mi Bandera

José Martí Pérez:

Con todos, y para el bien de todos

José Martí en Tampa
José Martí en Tampa

Es criminal quien sonríe al crimen; quien lo ve y no lo ataca; quien se sienta a la mesa de los que se codean con él o le sacan el sombrero interesado; quienes reciben de él el permiso de vivir.

Escudo de Cuba

Cuando salí de Cuba

Luis Aguilé

Nunca podré morirme,
mi corazón no lo tengo aquí.
Alguien me está esperando,
me está aguardando que vuelva aquí.

Cuando salí de Cuba,
dejé mi vida dejé mi amor.
Cuando salí de Cuba,
dejé enterrado mi corazón.

Late y sigue latiendo
porque la tierra vida le da,
pero llegará un día
en que mi mano te alcanzará.

Cuando salí de Cuba,
dejé mi vida dejé mi amor.
Cuando salí de Cuba,
dejé enterrado mi corazón.

Una triste tormenta
te está azotando sin descansar
pero el sol de tus hijos
pronto la calma te hará alcanzar.

Cuando salí de Cuba,
dejé mi vida dejé mi amor.
Cuando salí de Cuba,
dejé enterrado mi corazón.

La sociedad cerrada que impuso el castrismo se resquebraja ante continuas innovaciones de las comunicaciones digitales, que permiten a activistas cubanos socializar la información a escala local e internacional.


Por si acaso no regreso

Celia Cruz

Por si acaso no regreso,

yo me llevo tu bandera;

lamentando que mis ojos,

liberada no te vieran.


Porque tuve que marcharme,

todos pueden comprender;

Yo pensé que en cualquer momento

a tu suelo iba a volver.


Pero el tiempo va pasando,

y tu sol sigue llorando.

Las cadenas siguen atando,

pero yo sigo esperando,

y al cielo rezando.


Y siempre me sentí dichosa,

de haber nacido entre tus brazos.

Y anunque ya no esté,

de mi corazón te dejo un pedazo-

por si acaso,

por si acaso no regreso.


Pronto llegará el momento

que se borre el sufrimiento;

guardaremos los rencores - Dios mío,

y compartiremos todos,

un mismo sentimiento.


Aunque el tiempo haya pasado,

con orgullo y dignidad,

tu nombre lo he llevado;

a todo mundo entero,

le he contado tu verdad.


Pero, tierra ya no sufras,

corazón no te quebrantes;

no hay mal que dure cien años,

ni mi cuerpo que aguante.


Y nunca quize abandonarte,

te llevaba en cada paso;

y quedará mi amor,

para siempre como flor de un regazo -

por si acaso,

por si acaso no regreso.


Si acaso no regreso,

me matará el dolor;

Y si no vuelvo a mi tierra,

me muero de dolor.


Si acaso no regreso

me matará el dolor;

A esa tierra yo la adoro,

con todo el corazón.


Si acaso no regreso,

me matará el dolor;

Tierra mía, tierra linda,

te quiero con amor.


Si acaso no regreso

me matará el dolor;

Tanto tiempo sin verla,

me duele el corazón.


Si acaso no regreso,

cuando me muera,

que en mi tumba pongan mi bandera.


Si acaso no regreso,

y que me entierren con la música,

de mi tierra querida.


Si acaso no regreso,

si no regreso recuerden,

que la quise con mi vida.


Si acaso no regreso,

ay, me muero de dolor;

me estoy muriendo ya.


Me matará el dolor;

me matará el dolor.

Me matará el dolor.


Ay, ya me está matando ese dolor,

me matará el dolor.

Siempre te quise y te querré;

me matará el dolor.

Me matará el dolor, me matará el dolor.

me matará el dolor.


Si no regreso a esa tierra,

me duele el corazón

De las entrañas desgarradas levantemos un amor inextinguible por la patria sin la que ningún hombre vive feliz, ni el bueno, ni el malo. Allí está, de allí nos llama, se la oye gemir, nos la violan y nos la befan y nos la gangrenan a nuestro ojos, nos corrompen y nos despedazan a la madre de nuestro corazón! ¡Pues alcémonos de una vez, de una arremetida última de los corazones, alcémonos de manera que no corra peligro la libertad en el triunfo, por el desorden o por la torpeza o por la impaciencia en prepararla; alcémonos, para la república verdadera, los que por nuestra pasión por el derecho y por nuestro hábito del trabajo sabremos mantenerla; alcémonos para darle tumba a los héroes cuyo espíritu vaga por el mundo avergonzado y solitario; alcémonos para que algún día tengan tumba nuestros hijos! Y pongamos alrededor de la estrella, en la bandera nueva, esta fórmula del amor triunfante: “Con todos, y para el bien de todos”.

Como expresó Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas en el Parlamento Europeo el 17 de diciembre de 2002, con motivo de otorgársele el Premio Sájarov a la Libertad de Conciencia 2002, los cubanos “no podemos, no sabemos y no queremos vivir sin libertad”.