By Elizabeth Borrego Rodriguez
March 26, Caracas (Prensa Latina) Amid the media, economic and diplomatic campaign by the Government of the United States against Venezuela, the work by Cuban doctors who render their services in this South American country has become a new target in the escalation of aggressions.
With the dubious testimony of some physicians who deserted, The New York Times linked, in a recent investigation, the work by Cuban collaborators in the Barrio Adentro Mission with election purposes during the campaign by President Nicolas Maduro, who won with 68 percent of votes in 2018.
The article was published after it was known that violent groups linked to Venezuelan opposition burned the alleged humanitarian aid on the border with Colombia, a maneuver that analysts described as a direct attack on Donald Trump’s policy as debates in Washington reject the construction of a wall on the Mexican border.
Shortly after, The New York Times focused its narrative on discrediting medical collaboration, one of the noblest initiatives of the Cuban revolutionary process that has so far reached 120 countries with more than 400,000 medical workers.
In an interview with authorities, experts and patients, Prensa Latina got a first-hand version that differs from the one presented by the US newspaper, which omitted the experience of thousands of physicians in all corners of Venezuelan territory and of millions of people who have benefited from the Barrio Adentro Mission in nearly 16 years.
Since it was established in 2003, the medical program created by Cuba and Venezuela has spread to all states of the South American country to provide free medical care that gradually included other specialties, including high technology, ophthalmology, stomatology and others.
According to official statistics, more than 23,000 health workers are rendering their services in Venezuela at present, totaling 140,000 since the beginning of the Barrio Adentro Mission.
Program officials noted that in addition to providing medical care in institutions, the Cuban personnel visits houses and schools, distributes medications, and carries out activities in the communities.
In an exclusive interview, the coordinator of the Cuban collaborators in the state of Miranda, Manuel Blanco, said that this crusade is part of the script of pressure against Venezuela.
After unanswered calls to desert on the members of the Bolivarian National Armed Force, they are now focusing on the Cuban doctors, said Blanco, who also leads the collaborators who work in the fields of culture, education and agriculture, in addition to the physicians. With 66 Community Areas for Comprehensive Diagnosis, the Cuban mission in Miranda assists people in luxury areas like Chacao or Baruta, as well as the most humble sectors like Valles del Tuy or Petare.
‘Barrio Adentro does not make a distinction in terms of political filiation or social stratum. On the contrary, it focuses on the humane treatment of patents,’ said Jetzael Portilla, who heads the Medical Mission in Miranda.
As part of that agenda, the theory presented by The New York Times incorporates the doctors into the Cuban ‘control’ logic in Venezuela, while laying the foundations for the reactivation of the Cuban Medical Professional Parole, a special program that encouraged Cuban physicians to migrate to the United States.
In that regard, the Cuban Ministry of Public Health noted that at the end of 2018, its specialists in Venezuela had given 127.168 million consults throughout the country.
The Cuban medical personnel have accomplished internationalist missions in more than 160 countries, with more than 400,000 workers, who have often fulfilled that task on several occasions.