Castro's Medical Mercenaries

Not really news - its been going on for 20+ years, but just another reminder for the “They’ve got the best health care” and “Che’ Baby” groupies.

[quote]Castro’s Medical Mercenaries

While clinics crumble at home, bereft Cuban doctors are dispatched on El Jefe’s goodwill missions. But their purpose, it turns out, is more than just charity care.
At 4 A.M., hours before a pink sun would climb above the hills near Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, Leonel C

Ah. I knew Fidel was running a scam somehow. The U.N. had “Oil for Bribes”, Fidel has “Doctors for Dollars”.

[quote]Doctors exiled from Cuba say that in exchange for their mission work they earned a third or less of what Havana got for their services from foreign governments. The balance may amount to hundreds of millions of dollars for the state till, perhaps destined for handling by foreign banks (see box, p. 130).

At their clinics for the dirt poor abroad, these medical emissaries get a further shock: They see drugs in use that are manufactured in Cuba–such as ones to treat asthma or heart disease–but are unavailable at home. “People I knew in Cuba needed these medications,” says one doctor who recently fled a mission in Venezuela and wouldn’t talk on the record. (“Deserter” families still in Cuba are routinely punished, losing apartments or jobs. To retain such leverage, the government prefers not to send unmarried doctors.) [/quote]
… presumably without their spouses, so that their loved ones are kept hostage back in Cuba.

You may want to find out just how much Havana was paid for the doctors’ mission work, as the third paid to the doctors wold probably have been far more than they could have earned at home. Also, this being a communist country, where wealth is shared more evenly, the country getting the bulk of the fee makes a lot of sense - or are you trying to say that Castro has maybe or perhaps stashed all the cash away in Swiss bank accounts for when he absconds? Remember, we’ve been told to believe that he’s on his way out - why isn’t he fleeing / hasn’t he fled to enjoy these mountains of cash he is probably hiding away in foreign bank accounts? After all, that’s what we’d do if we were him, right, so that must be what he’s doing. :wink:

This is not news; it’s common knowledge. Cuba also exports all its best quality resources, such as sugar, and uses the cash to buy more of the same, but of lower quality. This way, everyone sees the benefit, rather than the few. It’s not ideal, but considering the circumstances, it would seem the smartest move.

I have yet to see any evidence that Castro is the bad guy many would like him to be. There’s always a good guy and a bad guy … so we must show that he’s the bad guy, right?

And not us. :wink:

Out of interest, what happens to Westerners when their governments find them to be deserters? Far more than losing jobs, I reckon, or their free apartment.

Come on, guys; you’ve gotta do better than that! :unamused:

Defending Castro and his system?

[i] How passe’…[/i]but then this post was for the [quote]"…“They’ve got the best health care” and “Che’ Baby” groupies. "[/quote]

The article provides insight in the masive failure and corruption that communism has evidenced on their island. Quite a different picture than what the piriquacos would paint.

It would be an insight if it didn’t use biased language.

And I’m not defending the system - more the accomplishments Castro has made under very hostile circumstances.

Good day to you, sir. :slight_smile:

So? They’re still not being paid enough to live on. Did you read the article or are you just defending Fidel?

:loco: Does that “make sense” ANYWHERE?!?!?

No, he’s just living it up in his palace while ordinary Cubans starve. Did you bother to read the article, where it discussed how “important people” such as government officials (and their families) – e.g., Fidel – but NOT including doctors or their own families, of course – are treated at different, better-equipped, hospitals with special “important people only” supplies of medications?

You mean, it wouldn’t make far more sense to scrap the current system and let a decent government take its place? Crap, even Guatemala during the death-squad era was better off than Cuba today.

[quote=“Stray Dog”]I have yet to see any evidence that Castro is the bad guy many would like him to be. There’s always a good guy and a bad guy … so we must show that he’s the bad guy, right?

And not us. :wink:[/quote]
Oh, no, he’s perfectly fine – that’s why he holds families hostage whenever one of their members is shipped abroad for multiple years. That’s why the article mentions the physicians who are unable to provide for themselves (much less their families) on the pennies per day that the government pays them.

I dunno. Why don’t you tell us whether you’re clapped into irons when you go back to Britain. Oh, wait, you wouldn’t be able to. No wonder I haven’t been able to meet up with Dangermouse for four months!

Hey, has anyone seen Poagao, Cooling Tower, or that satellite TV guy lately? Have the U.S. or Australia sent assassins after these guys yet?? No wonder Poa joined the Army here – he must’ve needed a rifle to kill those evil CIA bastards!

Quote
No, he’s just living it up in his palace while ordinary Cubans starve. Did you bother to read the article, where it discussed how “important people” such as government officials (and their families) – e.g., Fidel – but NOT including doctors or their own families, of course – are treated at different, better-equipped, hospitals with special “important people only” supplies of medications? Unquote

Have you been there ? have you seen them starving ?

Castro being treated in a better equipped hospital doesn t sound more different than Bush being treated in a better equipped hospital than the black community ok let s say the common people

On Cuba I had been warned by a countryman about a girl who claims she would be nurse.

She dresses like one and would be very dangerous he told me :astonished:

I always wondered what had actually happened.

Bob_Honest only was only drinking at the bar, much more healthy.

BobSaint

iDo you think the article is unbiased? If it is, I’ll check it out. If the doctor’s aren’t paid enough to live on, why aren’t they all dead? Why were the bars and restauarants full of Cubans when I was there? Why did I see nothing but very healthy looking people everywhere (and I wasn’t in the tourist areas; I cycled from Havana through the Sierra Maestra mountains to the town of Trinidad, then drove to Santiago de Cuba and back to Havana.) Make sure you’re not being misled by your source.

You don’t agree with paying TAXES?!?!?

He is the head of state, as it were, but I don’t know anything about his ‘palace’. I’m honestly interested to see evidence of that. And your Forbes article is biased propoganda. Try not to choke on it. Do you have any evidence to offer?

Really? Re. scrapping the system, the US right now has put human rights aside as it embarks on its ‘war on terror’. I would think that Americans would now have a better idea of the restrictions in place in Cuba, with its biggest and very serious threat just 90 km to the north. Cuba became communist solely to provide backup should the US invade, and it worked. Remember the Cuban missile crisis? Castro is first and foremost a nationalist intent on keeping Cuba Cuban. If Cubans were better off pre-Castro with US involvement and ‘democracy’ and capitalism, then you would have a great argument. But it was worse, so you don’t. (Insert a Fred Smith ‘haha!’ here.)

You just made the hostage thing up.

Pennies are more than adequate to live as a Cuban in Cuba. How much would it cost in your country for four people to go see a top baseball game, have a couple of drinks each, and a couple of sandwiches each? When I did it in Havana, after getting hold of some Cuban pesos, it cost less than 50 cents American in total. Show me pictures of starving Cubans and I’ll go along with the notion that Cubans are not paid enough to live on. The only pictures I came back with were of healthy, happy Cubans.

For sure, the young ones can’t understand why they can’t have some of the luxuries of the ‘West’, such as cable, computer games, fashionable clothes, etc., but the older ones understand better; they see that everyone has free health care, free education, etc. You don’t get that in the States. If you want to see real poverty, you need only look at the ten percent of the population to the north who really are experiencing true poverty. Yet still that nation would like to show Cuba how to do it better! Cubans don’t march through schools or shopping malls killing strangers. There were no drunks when I was there; no visible drug culture. That ‘freedom’ has also been ‘cruelly’ denied.

It’s a different system to yours, but, like yours, it’s flawed. I still feel that we have no right to tell them how to live in their own country. The vociferous ones in Miami are the ones who lost their middle- or upper-class status after the revolution. They are fuelled by greed; nothing more. The ones in Cuba that I met were not unhappy. The homes that I stayed in were better than any I’d visited in the States.

[quote]I dunno. Why don’t you tell us whether you’re clapped into irons when you go back to Britain. Oh, wait, you wouldn’t be able to. No wonder I haven’t been able to meet up with Dangermouse for four months!

Hey, has anyone seen Poagao, Cooling Tower, or that satellite TV guy lately? Have the U.S. or Australia sent assassins after these guys yet?? No wonder Poa joined the Army here – he must’ve needed a rifle to kill those evil CIA bastards![/quote]

So, these guys were sent here by their governments, only to defect??? I had no idea! Good point if true! The point is, this tyrant that you all rant about, Castro - he punishes these people by changing their jobs? INVADE NOW!!! :unamused:

iDo you think the article is unbiased? If it is, I’ll check it out.[/quote]
So you admit that you didn’t even read the article that you are “debunking”. :unamused:

Well, if you had read the article, you would have seen that they are turning to other economic activities, such as selling ice cream, to make ends meet.

How should I know? You could have asked them – maybe it was their once-a-year treat on their anniversary, maybe they were government ministry workers, maybe they were whores living on the hard currency they get from vacationing sex tourists.

[quote=“Stray Dog”]

You don’t agree with paying TAXES?!?!?[/quote]

He is the head of state, as it were, but I don’t know anything about his ‘palace’. I’m honestly interested to see evidence of that. And your Forbes article is biased propoganda. Try not to choke on it. Do you have any evidence to offer?[/quote]
Well, since you haven’t READ the article, I fail to see how you can state this.

However, since you keep pretending that Cuba is an egalitarian Communist paradise, why is it that Fidel gets better medical treatment than the peasants? Why is it that even government employees get better medical treatment, in special hospitals that have equipment and supplies unavailable elsewhere, than any workers including even the medical workers?

[quote=“Stray Dog”]

Really? Re. scrapping the system, the US right now has put human rights aside as it embarks on its ‘war on terror’.[/quote]
Oh? What “human rights” has the U.S. put aside? Please continue this in a separate thread, since it is a distraction from your defense of Castro.

[quote=“Stray Dog”]

You just made the hostage thing up. [/quote]
Well, since you haven’t read the article, or apparently even the things I posted as excerpts from it, how would you know?

But regardless, I shall reiterate for your education: both the article and the escapees clearly stated that Castro preferred to send physicians who have families abroad, holding their families in Cuba, so that the physicians would have an incentive not to apply for political asylum. Furthermore, that Castro’s government did so in order to PUNISH THE FAMILIES if the physician tried to run away.

So you don’t believe that Cubans have a right to aspire to a higher living standard? I am shocked, yes, shocked that you could feel compassion for even a mangy stray mutt, yet be unable to feel that a fellow human being has any right to live the life that he desires.

Really? You mean vast hordes of the U.S. are unable to attend public schools? Why is it that medical care in the U.S. is among the best in the world? How come life expectancy is so much higher in the U.S.?

You have to have shopping malls in order to kill someone in one. :laughing:

So why is it that Castro has the right to tell everyone else in HIS country how to live THEIR lives?

[quote=“Stray Dog”]

[quote]I dunno. Why don’t you tell us whether you’re clapped into irons when you go back to Britain. Oh, wait, you wouldn’t be able to. No wonder I haven’t been able to meet up with Dangermouse for four months!

Hey, has anyone seen Poagao, Cooling Tower, or that satellite TV guy lately? Have the U.S. or Australia sent assassins after these guys yet?? No wonder Poa joined the Army here – he must’ve needed a rifle to kill those evil CIA bastards![/quote]

So, these guys were sent here by their governments, only to defect??? I had no idea! Good point if true! The point is, this tyrant that you all rant about, Castro - he punishes these people by changing their jobs? INVADE NOW!!! :unamused:[/quote]
I would recommend carpet bombing with WP.

Hanging out with the Cubans I found they usualy live on $4 USD official payment a month plus a load of pesos, for which they can buy food in combinaton with a paper card granting the supply.

Many many well educated girls are prostitutes or at least want to get some money from a foreigner in a bar. Guess they pay a lot to their families. Working in the various Spanish run hotels and stuff is a way to make much more money too.

They also do a lot of side business like swapping their companies products on the black market for anything they need. East-Germans did that as well during the commie years.

Healthy? Yes, younger people. Looking very closely, skipping to look at the chicks on the streets, one can notice very thin and ill looking old people.

If you are old and cannot bend down, it is harder to make some side money.

Stray Dog can you recommend a place that sells those cool

I do find it interesting that almost immediately the U.S. is thrown into the conversation. Tell me when you are comparing Cuba to a modern day Athens do you realizes half of their countrymen live in South Florida? You know the greedy upper class ones that showed up innertubes.

PPE, Castro is not Che. :unamused: Do any research on Cuba and see if the U.S. isn’t ‘thrown in’. You know the history of Cuba and about the embargo, right? The one that has been condmended year after year by the international community because it has such an effect on the lives of Cubans (or at the least because it allows people to point the finger of blame at the U.S.)? I’m not anti-U.S. - I loved my time living there and some of my favourite people are American - but I do think many of the problems the U.S. is facing stem from the fact that the country seems to be unaware of its image abroad. I’m not saying the U.S is bad, but that it comes across that way because of its policies.

b-h, re. prostitutes, they are everywhere, in many countries around the world, including the U.S. and throughout Europe. But only in Cuba do women become prostitutes because they are oppressed and starving. :wink: And thin and ill-looking old people? Are you saying that’s also unique to Cuba? I’m pretty sure old people are like that everywhere! :laughing:

MPS, I need to keep this brief, so apologies for curtness.

The head of Forbes is a die-hard Republican who pushed for huge tax breaks for the rich (he’s worth almost half a billion). Of course Forbes will have an opinion of Castro. I don’t need to read it because it’s biased. I would only be reading someone else’s opinion.

As for selling ice cream, in England, many people work side jobs to make ends meet, but they still end up in huge debt because they don’t earn enough ‘to make ends meet’. In the U.S. I’m sure it’s the same but the debt is worse. I guess when you can’t get a credit card, you take a side job, even if it is selling ice cream.

‘Egalitarian communist paradise’? OK, put words into my mouth if that gives you something to respond to more easily. :unamused: And I think you’ll find that govt workers everywhere get damned good perks and benefits, which is why it’s such a good job to get everywhere.

Human rights? You don’t know about the human rights issues in the U.S. and its prisons in Guantanamo and Iraq? :astonished:

Re. the hostage thing, I got that from your own posts, which changed dramatically from ‘choosing doctors with family in Cuba’ to ‘holding families hostage’. If the ‘hostage’ bit is wrong, you may retract it. :slight_smile:

Re. living standards, mutts, aspiring, etc., You know, when you keep having to distort my words or views, it only looks bad on you, as it means you can’t respond adequately to what I have said. I believe that fellow human beings do have a right to live the life they want. For instance, I believe the Helms-Burton Act and the embargo it strengthens are totally wrong. I don’t believe we should punish a people because we don’t understand its leader. You need to understand that the ‘democracy’ that you would like to believe is synonymous with ‘freedom’ does not have the same connotation for people who look at the kind of democracy the U.S. would like to bring to Cuba.

Cuba isn’t a democracy for a very good reason: to protect the country from U.S. involvement and abuse. Simple as that. Communism is Cuba’s defense against what it sees to be its oppressive neighbour to the north. We all know that if the U.S. ever ‘liberated’ Cuba and gave the people ‘democracy’, it would only be once Halliburton has taken advantage of all the contracts that won’t be democratically put out to tender. Then Iraqi-style prisons would be set up, and Bush would be urged to denounce torture as a tool for ‘promoting freedom and democracy’, as he is being urged right now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As for schooling, medical care, and life expectancy, you need to do a little more research; where does it say that the U.S. has a better and fairer education system than Cuba and greater life expectancy? According to the CIA Factbook, the life expectancy of a Cuban is only six months less than an American. And Cuba has some of the best medical care in Latin America; now they are allowed to receive medicines, I think you can expect that to remain true for some time.

Re. Castro telling everyone how to live their lives, I’m not sure that’s the case, but any restrictions on personal freedoms are in place because of the very real threat to the north. It’s a simple point to accept.

As for carpet bombing, well, that’s the problem right there: “Let’s make Cubans suffer, let’s kill them, because they supported a revolution that gave Cuba back to Cubans!” Americans still celebrate the Fourth of July, you know, but no one is calling for a carpet bombing of the people nor an embargo to get European interests returned to their rightful owners.
:unamused:

To put the blame on the USA for Castro’s muderous, fascist regieme severely strectches ones credibilty. Perhaps even removes it.
How many countries embargo Cuba? Hmmm…
It seems that alone is ample evidence of the inherent death knell that Castro’s regieme has wreaked on the Cuban populace. His tactics simply don’t work.
Many many many countries around the world trade, as best they can, with Cuba. It still suffers terribly.

Piriquacos be damned. When Castro is dead, Cuba will throw off this maniacal regieme with a blood-letting and finally emerge into the democracy and freedom they deserve.

therealcuba.com/index.htm

Murderous? When?

Re. the entire quote, that’s the point - people will blame the U.S. until America says, OK, let’s let Castro and Cuba get on with it, and then see what a mess his system is or isn’t. I really think the system in Cuba will become more free once the threat (perceived or real) from the north is gone.

Right now, it’s like saying that the puppy you bought is badly behaved because it always barks, when in fact you’ve never even let it out of its cage. :wink:

The fact that the U.S. is the only country pushing for an embargo speaks for itself.

The link you posted shows pictures of the atrocities of war, which is certainly evidence of killing, with the following evidence: ‘… and the killing continues today’. It also shows pictures of sad Cubans to show how bad it is there. I’m sorry, but is that really all we have to go on? Do you think I could not get more pictures of unhappy people in any of our home countries? On a Monday morning perhaps.

Look, I’m not being facetious. I also used to believe everything I read about Cuba and Castro. But then I went there, and did more extensive research, reading books and articles that tell either the ‘other side’ of the story, or a nonbiased report, and I balanced it all up and came away with the conclusion that I may have been misled, kept in the dark, not exposed to the complete truth, etc. However you want to put it, I felt that the information I had been given was biased, exagerrated, or downright incorrect.

I’m not a communist, and I’m not anti-U.S.; I just feel that it is possible - just possible - that Castro is a great man who has done great things with the resources he had, but we are being encouraged to believe, with nothing more than old photos and hearsay, that he is a bad guy who deserves to die for his ‘crimes’. I hope to encourage others to view the facts themselves, question the motives of naysayers, read unbiased accounts, visit Cuba and ask real Cubans, and then decide for themselves if Castro is the tyrant that the U.S. now makes him out to be (they supported him until he went commie).

That’s all.

If this is brief, I’d hate to see you when you decide to respond in force. Not that you wrote anything other than a bunch of handwaving anyway.

Oh, so you’re still criticizing the article as biased even though you’ve never read it, and in fact you are refusing to read it because you don’t think it will fit with your own biases. Just so we’re straight on that.

Clearly you don’t, if you compare the “issues” in Guantanamo and Iraq with the “issues” in Cuba.

It’s not, although you seem to think the concept of people being kept behind so that their spouses won’t run away.

Horrors! No wonder the Latinos in Miami are floating their way south on inner tubes and makeshift boats as fast as they can get away from oppressive U.S. imperialism!

Joy, Frustration Greet Release Of Protester in Cuban Prison

[quote]WASHINGTON - The Cuban dissident who as a desperate prison protest took a knife to his face and body - carving into his forehead the letters “I,” for “inocente,” or “innocent,” and “L,” for “libertad,” or “liberty” - was released yesterday after 27 months spent languishing in Fidel Castro’s gulag.

The release came the day after his plight was highlighted Wednesday in a front-page article in The New York Sun that compared his action to that of Medal of Honor winner James Stockdale, who, while imprisoned by communists in Hanoi, mutilated his face by beating it with a wooden stool to dissuade his captors from exploiting him for propaganda purposes.

The dissident released yesterday, Mario Enrique Mayo, is one of the 75 Cuban dissidents jailed during Fidel Castro’s infamous “primavera negra,” or “black spring,” crackdown in March 2003. As Mr. Mayo became the 15th of the 75 pro-democracy activists to be released, the news was met with a mix of joy and frustration, as other members of the Cuban opposition on the island and in America remained mindful of hundreds of other prisoners of conscience still suffering in Mr. Castro’s dungeons[/quote]

[quote]“There are many, many more,” Ms. Roque said in Spanish, citing the 60 remaining prisoners from the March 2003 crackdown in addition to “the hundreds of political prisoners in our jails.”

“It’s important to keep working on this case by case,” Ms. Roque said. "That’s why we are asking the world to keep an eye on Cuba, and to keep an eye on these violations of human rights[/quote]
nysun.com/article/23847

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What do they do in your country to people who plan to overthrow the government?

They teach at Harvard and Berkeley. :smiley: