The Workers’ Party wishes to offer its solidarity and congratulations to the Cuban doctors and healthcare professionals who have worked to bring healthcare to some 3,600 remote municipalities in Brazil since 2013. The politically-motivated attack by President Jair Bolsonaro on the “More Doctors for Brazil” Programme, which has resulted in its closure, will harm the citizens of these 3,600 municipalities more than anybody else.
In its 55 years of medical solidarity, Cuba – itself a country under extreme economic and political pressure – has brought some 400,000 healthcare workers to 164 nations in need of support. It is a record of real solidarity which surpasses much of the so-called “aid” sent by Western nations to poorer regions of the world.
Perhaps even more impressive has been the Cuban emphasis on training doctors and healthcare workers from countries with underdeveloped healthcare systems. Over 35,000 healthcare workers and doctors from more than 100 nations have been trained in Cuba over the past five decades. These qualified workers have provided the basis for accessible, high quality healthcare in their home countries.
President Jair Bolsonaro’s self-created image is one of a ‘moderniser,’ who can bring Brazil into the twenty-first century as an ally of the United States. And yet, because of the closure of the “More Doctors for Brazil” programme, caused directly by Bolsonaro’s actions, more than 700 municipalities will now lose the first ever doctor they had. What sort of a “modern” country is that?
The forced closure of “More Doctors for Brazil” has exposed once again the deepening political fault-line on the American continent, between those nations who strive to develop fair societies which reject the neo-colonial influence of the United States, and those whose leaders are content to remain subservient to US imperialism, if it allows them to enrich themselves and their cronies.
In this ongoing struggle, the Workers’ Party offers its full solidarity to the government of Cuba, and its thanks for the decades of material support Cuba has brought to poor communities around the world.