Cuba is a mysterious island. Ravaged by an unprecedented economic crisis, abandoned by the tourists who ensured its survival, poorly equipped and isolated by a blockade as old as its Revolution, it has nevertheless managed to control the Covid-19 epidemic and provide medical assistance to the rest of the world. world.
Prevention and solidarity are one of the values of the Castro Revolution. Sharing and giving supposedly define Cuba’s health policy. With the international brigades, Cuban doctors have saved millions of lives around the world since their founding in 1965. But according to some Cubans, the health situation in their own country has not improved since the Revolution.
It all begins at the ELAM Faculty of Medicine, where Cubans but also foreigners come to study, totally –or almost– for free. Foreigners return to their country grateful for the education Cuba has given them, and most Cuban students join the medical brigades.
For Eunis Roberto Legrá Salas, it is “one of the main objectives for which one wants to be a doctor” and “knowing that you represent those ideals of your country is extraordinary”. For the State, these doctors are the symbol of Cuban pride. But also, it is good propaganda for the country devastated by an economic crisis.
Doctors Salomon and Martínez are part of those from the international brigade who did not return to their country. They denounce the working conditions within the brigades and the health situation in Cuba, where the doctors are good, but they lack equipment and medicine.
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