LA NACIÓN – As soon as we began to become aware of the magnitude of the pandemic, the Government considered the idea of bringing Cuban doctors to the country and went so far as to authorize, by Presidential Special Decree (DNU in Spanish), the temporary exercise in Argentina of foreign health professionals, even if they had no professional title revalidated here. We hardly know whether or not those supposed professionals who are so lightly empowered to practice medicine in the country entered the territory and, if that were the case, how long they would remain, because the decree does not establish limits.
It is striking the fascination that Cuba continues to exercise as a center of cultural irradiation, even in areas such as medicine, where its backwardness dates from the fall of the Berlin Wall, and that when its practices are not plain and simple a scam
Beyond the discussion about the need for the call, despite the excellence of the training of Argentine doctors, the fascination that Cuba continues to exercise as a center of cultural irradiation, even in areas such as medicine, in which it draws attention their backwardness dates back to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and that when their practices are not simply a scam.
Nobody ignores what Cuba means for an important part of the Governmet and for the Bolivarian axis. It is also known that it is not precisely health care that Cuba exported to the rest of America. But what has really amazed, for decades, is the absence of massive rejection of a bloody dictatorship that has been in power for sixty years.
It is not just an Argentine gawk. Former Chilean Foreign Minister José Miguel Insulza, when he was Secretary General of the OAS, almost begged the Cuban government to return to the organization. Fidel Castro, who had previously treated him as “stupid” for those same attempts, had the luxury of rejecting the invitation with all kinds of grievances against the Organization of American States. That did not prevent Insulza from declaring on the death of the dictator: “It remains as a symbol of the struggle of the poor countries.” On April 16, 2001, on the 40th anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist character of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro gave one of his many speeches in which he assured that “without socialism, Cuba would not be a country in which, during 42 years, the repression and police brutality, so common in Europe, have not been known. “
It seemed like a bad joke; a mockery of a world that never responded to him properly and that tolerated his atrocities too much.
The documents with executions, political imprisonments and torture span hundreds of pages, with only a few lines dedicated to each victim.
Only loose examples of what should ever be Cuba’s “Never Again” can be offered.
Abel Nieves – a political prisoner who died last year and who remained incarcerated for 21 years – reported that, at age 16, he was buried alive. They kept him in a kind of horizontal tunnel, with concrete walls, which only fit his body lying on his back, with the ceiling just inches from his face. The floor had small holes where water came out, which kept his back constantly wet, but it was not enough to drink nor could he turn to drink it. Thus it was seven days. Then he went to other jails, which were no longer a mortuary niche, but where the treatment was brutal.
Evelio Ancheta – another political prisoner, as most are – explained that many who resisted the revolution were arrested and thrown into a pool in a bag. They took them out and sank them again. It is impossible, he said, to know how many died.
They used a similar technique with Orestes Pérez, who was pushed into a well filled with water with a tied stone, so that it would sink completely. Within minutes, they lifted him up and revived him, using first aid. They then demanded that he expose opponents. Since it did not, they resumed the same operation over and over again.
Luis Chamizo told at the time that he spent six months in a punishment cell, where only one person stood and could not even flex his legs.
Electroshocks, which caused loss of notion of time and even space, as well as lifelong personality disorders, were part of everyday methods.
Cecilio Monteagudo, who was released from prison after 2000, assured that, as one of the guards had anticipated, he was inoculated with tuberculosis before his release, a method that is – he noted – quite frequent for those who were imprisoned by opponents.
For her part, María García, who on July 13, 1994 was escaping along with many other citizens of Cuba in a tugboat, described the nightmare that she lived from that day, when three government ships deliberately rammed her boat until it sank. They were all left in the water and no government agent lifted a finger to save them. She held her child as long as she could, until the waves took him away forever.
15,000 political prisoners passed through the Los Pinos prison, which operated during the first decade of the revolution, at which time they were made to endure the worst humiliation, torture, hunger, thirst, beatings and lack of medical care. The same in Holguín prison, one of the worst; a large part for lack of medical attention, the medical attention that they boast of providing abroad and tourists who still believe in Cuban medicine.
Today the Holguín prisoners – those yes political prisoners – cry out for their overcrowding in the midst of the pandemic, but there they do not open the doors and nobody asks for them.
Enrique García Cuevas, transferred by numerous prisons, died after 272 days of hunger strike in the Santa Clara provincial prison. He had been subjected to biological experimentation by the jailers, who supplied him with force and irregular power, kept him in prolonged isolation and in confined spaces, and made him suffer sudden changes in temperature in cells prepared for this purpose. Thousands were killed by the government on hunger strikes and tens of thousands killed violently.
But since the testimonies of the victims of communism are always questioned, it is convenient to read what the revolutionary leaders themselves wrote. For example, Ernesto “Che” Guevara in his Passages of the Revolutionary War and his narratives of executions of prisoners who begged him for mercy, “but the laws of war are the laws of war,” he wrote cheekily. The laws of war command precisely the opposite. Guevara’s image is shamelessly sold and dressed in T-shirts and all kinds of merchandising.
From that humanistic paradise we talk every so often about importing health.
Why is it still important to address the Cuban question today? Because any construction of a policy based on resentment is made up of a leadership with a political-economic project that has nothing to do with the poor; from a second line of ideologues who expose a myth, and from a mass of followers who idolize that myth and thus make possible the project of a few. That is Cuba inside and that is its allies in the world.
That is why it is necessary to destroy myths and expose the great business that feeds on them and for which freedom, our freedom, is only a hindrance.
By Carlos Manfroni