El Presidente Posted May 25 Share Posted May 25 Cuba is living proof that a different world is possible LAUREN HARPER reports from a young trade unionists’ May Day brigade visit to Cuba /sites/all/themes/custom/morningstar_online/images/logo_mark_neg.svg THE first thing that struck me about Cuba was the language in which they refer to their healthcare professionals. They are constantly referred to as “heroes” and they genuinely mean it all the time — not like how we were encouraged to clap for the NHS during Covid, only to be told healthcare staff don’t deserve a pay rise today. Additionally, the language they use is always collective. Never once were we told “I designed this vaccine” or “this team designed the vaccine” — it was always “we created five vaccines against Covid-19.” Rightfully, the country is incredibly proud of the work it completed during the pandemic to save lives, all in the face of a brutal blockade enforced by the imperialist US. And Cuban doctors are international heroes too: during the pandemic, they were proud to send doctors around the world to help relieve the pressure on the health services of other countries. Discussions are being held between the Cuban embassy and local representatives to send Cuban doctors to Ireland to relieve pressure on health services on both sides of the Irish border. This may come to fruition if the government agrees and requests the help of Cuban doctors. While we should be incredibly thankful to the Cuban people for sending doctors around the world, of which there are an estimated 30,000 active in 67 countries, it should be a mark of shame for the international community that we benefit from the country’s inspirational healthcare heroes while allowing the US to continue its blockade against Cuba. Living in Britain, we have become desensitised to reports of substandard care for those with learning difficulties. It has been four years since the shocking abuse at Whorlton Hall was exposed by a Panorama investigation, but we still see reports about poor and potentially illegal practices in care homes. Cuba is light years ahead of Britain on this too. It was an incredible privilege to have the residents of La Castellana which boasts four Paralympic gold medalists. Young children are given one-to-one care to develop specialised care with a family programme. Then, if it is possible, at 18 they graduate into full-time work and in the instances where this is not possible they receive a full state subsidy. The centre has around 245 clients, some of whom are full-time residents, and 260 staff members; which is nearly a one-to-one ratio. Contrast this to Britain where two care home staff can be responsible for up to 15 unit residents, and are often understaffed anyway. At our briefings before arriving in Cuba, we were often told to manage our expectations and to remember that it is still a very poor and developing country — yet I left with a sense that Cuba is incredibly developed. Patients and staff alike are treated with the utmost dignity and respect. The problem for Cuba comes not from greedy politicians cutting health and social services but from the US. Currently, Cuban healthcare professionals do so much with so little, but if the blockade was removed, Cuba would flourish beyond its current confines. Cuba is living proof that a different world is possible, which is why the US continues to enact a barbaric, genocidal and illegal blockade against the nation. By enforcing the blockade it is preventing food, medicine and agricultural equipment from reaching the people of Cuba. But this is precisely the point: Cuba proves that a politics of love for the people is possible, rather than the politics of hate and division which we see here in the West. 1 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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