Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate Says Cuban Medical Missions "Are
Slavery" and Vows to End Them / 14ymedio
14ymedio (with information from Diana Ramos), Quito, 17 March 2017 –
Guillermo Lasso, a candidate for president of Ecuador, is against the
Cuban medical missions in his country and promised to end them, should
he triumph in the upcoming run-off election.
"We must end this slavery of one government negotiating with another
that pays poverty-level wages for the services" provided by
professionals. He also stressed that Cuban professionals "displace"
Ecuadorians in their own country.
"In my government there will be no policy that persecutes any
professional sector in Ecuador," he said on Tuesday, during a visit to
Luis Vernaza Hospital in Guayaquil, the candidate's hometown.
On February 10, Movimiento X Cuba, a civil society group composed of
Cuban health professionals based in Ecuador, asked the future president
to end the Cuban medical presence there.
"We advocate that Cuban doctors be free and able to decide their own
future, their country of residence, and have the freedom necessary to
exercise such a dignified profession," the movement said in a statement.
Some 600 Cuban doctors are working in Ecuador and the Ecuadorian
government pays 2,700 dollars a month for each one. From this, the Cuban
Ministry of Public Health pays individual doctors barely 800 dollars,
with the rest going into the coffers of the state. Profits from this
leasing out of medical and other professionals is one of the Cuban
government's largest source of revenue.
Acure, an association of pro-Castro Cubans in Ecuador, spoke out against
the "malicious and provocative statement of Movimiento X Cuba" and
insisted that doctors from the island have provided medical care "to
more than four and a half million Ecuadorian patients," emphasizing the
provision of eye operations and kidney transplants.
"Cuba has trained, free of charge, more than 6,000 Ecuadorian
specialists in its universities," Acure said.
Dr. Daniel Medina, president of Movimiento X Cuba, who defines himself
as an opponent of the Cuban government, asked for protection for "all
migrants who seek freedom and flee totalitarian regimes like those in
Cuba and Venezuela."
Source: Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate Says Cuban Medical Missions
"Are Slavery" and Vows to End Them / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba -