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February 9, 2010

The Politics of Aid

Cuban doctors Haiti.jpg

The largest contingent of medical relief workers in Haiti since the January 12th earthquake?

If U.S. politics might make it less than p.c. to visualize (this “full of” relief photo courtesy of the UN), the answer is: the Cubans.

(Photo: Sophia Paris/MINUSTAH. caption: The World Health Organization (WHO) provides Diphtheria and Tetanus vaccinations given by Cuban doctors at the National Stadium on February 3, 2010 in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Since the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12th, people who lost their homes have moved into the stadium living in makeshift tents and unsanitary conditions. The Cuban nurses go from tent to tent vaccinating people who have not received it yet. (Photo by Sophia Paris/MINUSTAH)

  • jtfromBC
  • HaplessDiplomoid


  • podesta

    Damn cubans. They’re going to radicalize the place.

  • jtfromBC

    The Cubans are serving in Haitian hospitals, medical clinics in improvised shelters, without Flags, Fear or Fanfare. And they will be there quietly working long after other medical crews have has been their practise in the past.
    ‘Cuba was among the first countries to offer humanitarian aid in Pakistan after the earthquake and was the only country that stayed once winter arrived.’
    “As we prepared for winter, we were determined to keep all the tent hospital camps running, to maintain house calls to neighboring villages; all services were kept operating, from X-Rays to surgery.”

  • Marek

    You can look at what the U.S. says about Cuba, or you can look at what Cuba actually does in the world: from the nearly 1,000-strong medical teams in Haiti, the free cataract surgeries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the teachers bringing literacy to Bolivia and Venezuela’s poorest citizens… It is sad that for many U.S. citizens, the jingoistic “history” that comes post-Bay of Pigs blinds them to appreciating that Cuba – a nation with many flaws – is nonetheless perhaps the most humane government in the Americas today.

  • Annoying Old Guy

    Clearly. We should have locked up people with AIDS in camps just like the Cubans. That’s the kind of compassionate, quality medical care we need here.

  • tinwoman

    Well, until last month or so we did forbid people with AIDS to enter the United States….
    that was surely a step in the right direction, wasn’t it?

  • Marek

    Annoying Old Guy – living up to your moniker. Cuba’s AIDS treatment has been and continues to be lauded by the World Health Organisation. Try reading something other than the Miami Herald or watching Fox News – seek out a less biased report on Cuba’s treatment of AIDS patients. Also take the time to learn about the massive investment Cuba has had to make in creating its own drug cocktail (world class, at that) due to the U.S. economic embargo which prevents, among many other things, intellectual property from being exported to Cuba. Cuba has nothing for which to apologise.

  • jtfromBC

    Happy New Year and its good to see your still about.
    Your October 26, 1989 link is a bit dated so heres for getting you up to date 20 years later.
    Cuba’s HIV/AIDS Strategy:An Integrated, Rights-Based Approach July 2008 – Oxfam International
    “Oxfam published this report because we think the Cuban approach to HIV and AIDS can inform rights-based health policy in other low income countries,” says Beat Schmid, Coordinator of the Oxfam Joint Program in Cuba. Schmid points to Cuba’s low HIV prevalence rate (at 0.1%, the lowest in the Americas), extremely low rates of AIDS-related mortality and mother-to-child transmission, and free anti-retroviral treatment for those needing it as achievements worthy of study. That Cuba has kept prevalence so low among women in particular, drew Oxfam’s attention to the country’s program; currently 19% of people with HIV in Cuba are women, as compared to 43% in the rest of the Caribbean.
    The conclusion on the pdf version:
    ‘More importantly, Cubans living with HIV/AIDS on the island embody the spirit, fortitude andintelligence required to confront this global health crisis. From them, and their colleagues everywhere, the world has the most to learn’

  • [email protected]

    Cuba’s approach goes beyond the effects of the initial disaster. They go on to focus on the psychological effects on the children. Here’s a section of an article found on PeoplesWorld:

  • Annoying Old Guy

    Nice to hear from you too. I am just so busy these days I can’t spend the time I would like.
    I don’t read the Miami Herald nor do I watch Fox News. You could have noticed that my link was from the New York Times. Or do you consider them part of the right wing buzz machine? I think it’s telling that you want me to learn before I write when you clearly don’t. I would also note that using stereotypes in place of arguments isn’t a very effective technique.
    I also never claimed Cuba has anything to apologize for in this regard. Bitten by a stereotype again. Try to break out, you can do it! My point was to mock the people here, in this country, who thought trying to shut down bath houses during the AIDS epidemic was horrifically oppressive and homophobic, yet laud Cuban health care for creating AIDS camps.

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