Raul pledges more aid to Haiti400 Haitian youth trained as doctors in Cuba today work with Cubans.
By Larry Moonze
Tue 19 Jan. 2010, 04:01 CAT [
CUBAN President Raul Castro has pledged more aid to earthquake-devastated Haiti.
Cuba now has over 430 physicians in Haiti and President Raul informed his counterpart President Rene Garcia Preval that he could count on Cuban aid.
“My dear friend, news of the earthquake that has devastated the sister Republic of Haiti has filled us with profound pain and consternation,” President Raul wrote. “On behalf of the Cuban people and government, I convey to you our most heartfelt condolences and reiterate that you can count on aid in solidarity from our country at this difficult time. With my highest consideration and esteem.”
So far Cuba has scaled physicians to 432 to help attend to medical needs after Haiti was hit by a 7.3 degrees magnitude earthquake on January 12.
The health staff, with almost ten tonnes of foods, water, provisioning, and medicines arrived in the congested Port-au-Prince airport on Saturday after several failed attempts since Thursday last week.
The Henry Reeve Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics, about 447 Cubans are now working in Haiti
Epidemiologist Gonzalo Estevez, the second leader to the medical brigade, stated that they were working in extremely difficult conditions because the population had not recovered yet from the tremor.
Meanwhile, former president Fidel Castro on Sunday said the news reported from Haiti described a great chaos that was to be expected given the exceptional situation created in the aftermath of the catastrophe.
“At first, a feeling of surprise, astonishment and commotion set in,” he wrote in his column published on Sunday. “A desire to offer immediate assistance came up in the farthest places of the earth. What assistance should be sent -and how- to a Caribbean nation from China, India, Vietnam and other countries that are tens of thousands of kilometers away? The magnitude of the earthquake and the poverty that exists in that country generated at first some ideas about probable needs which gave rise to all types of promises that are possible in terms of resources that later on are tried to be conveyed through every possible way.
We Cubans understood that the most important thing at that moment was to save lives, and we are trained not only to cope with catastrophes like that, but also to cope with other natural catastrophes related to human health.”
Fidel said hundreds of Cuban doctors were working in Haiti along with quite a number of young Haitians of humble origin who had become well trained health professionals.
He said the destruction caused by the earthquake exceeded all calculations.
Fidel said the humble clay and adobe houses in a city with almost two million inhabitants could not stand.
He said the solid government facilities collapsed, entire blocks of houses crumbled over their tenants who at that time of the day -almost at dusk- were inside their homes; and they were all buried dead or alive under the rubble.
Fidel said the immediate decision adopted by the dedicated Cuban doctors who worked in Haiti as well as by the young health professionals from Haiti who had graduated in Cuba was to establish contact among them, know about each other's fate and wonder what were the resources available to assist the Haitian people in the midst of that tragedy.
He said the Cuban doctors who were on vacation in Cuba as well as the Haitian doctors who were taking their specialisation courses immediately readied themselves to leave for Haiti.
“Other Cuban surgery experts who had accomplished difficult missions volunteered to accompany them,” he said. “Suffice it to say that in less than 24 hours our doctors had already assisted hundreds of patients. Our medical personnel is ready to cooperate and join forces with all other health specialists who have been sent to save lives in that sister nation. Haiti could become an example of what humankind can do for itself.
The possibility and the means exist but willingness is missing. The longer it takes to bury or incinerate the corpses and to distribute food and other vital supplies, the higher the risks of epidemics and social violence will be. Haiti will put to the test the endurance of the cooperation spirit before egoism, chauvinism, ignoble interests and contempt for other nations prevail.”
Fidel said a climate change jeopardised the whole humankind.
He said the earthquake at Port-au-Prince, hardly three weeks after the Copenhagen conference reminded everyone “how selfishly and arrogantly we behaved then.”
“Countries are taking a close look at all that is happening in Haiti,” said Fidel. “The world's public opinion and peoples' criticisms will be ever harsher and unforgiving.”
the 2010 0:24 January 19: 25 am CDT
United Nations, January 18.-Cuba reiterated its willingness to cooperate with all Nations in the field, including USA, in helping Haiti after the devastating earthquake on Tuesday reported pl. this Monday in UN
With this objective Cubans have staff and the necessary infrastructure in that Caribbean country, indicated a communiqué issued on Monday in New York by the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations.
"Haiti is one of the clearest examples of the negative consequences of colonialism and neo-colonialism, unjust and exclusionary international order and continued interventionism", recalled the text.
The solidarity of the Cuban people, pointed out, not came to Haiti with the earthquake, since Cuba, since December 1998, offered medical cooperation to the Haitian people from the comprehensive health programme. Until now 6 094 Cuban partners have worked there with tangible results: more than 14 million medical consultations, 225 000 surgeries, 100 000 births and more than 230 000 lives saved.
In addition, from the miracle operation for patients with ophthalmological diseases, 47 273 Haitians were operated until 31 December 2009, at the time which 660 young Haitian study today in Cuba, 541 of them career in medicine.
19 de Enero del 2010 0:24:25 CDT
NACIONES UNIDAS, enero 18.— Cuba reiteró este lunes en Naciones Unidas su disposición de cooperar con todas las naciones en el terreno, incluido EE.UU., en la ayuda a Haití tras el devastador terremoto del pasado martes, reportó PL.
Con ese objetivo los cubanos tienen el personal y la infraestructura necesaria en ese país caribeño, indicó un comunicado emitido este lunes en Nueva York por la misión permanente de la Isla ante la ONU.
El texto informa que en estos momentos Cuba coopera con Venezuela, Namibia, Noruega, China, República Dominicana, México y Rusia en el auxilio al pueblo haitiano.
Al mismo tiempo, solicitó apoyo logístico, material quirúrgico gastable, soporte hospitalario y otros materiales a la Organización Panamericana de la Salud, para garantizar la asistencia médica a las víctimas.
El comunicado señala que el Gobierno cubano autorizó de manera inmediata la utilización del espacio aéreo en el territorio oriental de Cuba por aeronaves de EE.UU. para facilitar el envío de asistencia.
«Cuba hace un llamado a toda la comunidad internacional para cooperar y asistir con urgencia a ese hermano país en las actuales trágicas circunstancias», subrayó la nota.
Por otro lado, el texto informa que en el momento de la catástrofe, alrededor de 400 colaboradores cubanos trabajaban en esa nación caribeña de forma gratuita y desinteresada, y comenzaron a brindar servicios de urgencia inmediatamente después del sismo.
«Ha sido la más importante asistencia médica que ha recibido el pueblo haitiano en las primeras 72 horas», acotó el texto distribuido en la ONU.
Asimismo, agregó que el día posterior al sismo otros 60 colaboradores cubanos llegaron a Puerto Príncipe, entre ellos especialistas del contingente Henry Reeve para situaciones de emergencia, con experiencia en catástrofes similares. Además, esa brigada transportó medicamentos, avituallamiento, alimentos y bolsas de suero y de plasma.
Adicionalmente, 400 jóvenes haitianos formados como médicos en Cuba trabajan hoy junto con los cubanos.
El comunicado advirtió que la acción internacional no puede limitarse a atender las emergencias derivadas del terremoto.
«Haití solo podrá avanzar hacia un futuro de prosperidad si cuenta con el apoyo constante y firme de la comunidad internacional a largo plazo», apuntó.
«Haití es uno de los ejemplos más claros de las nefastas consecuencias del colonialismo y del neocolonialismo, del injusto y excluyente orden internacional y del intervencionismo continuado», recordó el texto.
La solidaridad del pueblo cubano, precisó, no llegó a Haití con el terremoto, ya que Cuba, desde diciembre de 1998, ofreció cooperación médica al pueblo haitiano a través del Programa Integral de Salud. Hasta ahora 6 094 colaboradores cubanos han trabajado allí con resultados palpables: más de 14 millones de consultas médicas, 225 000 cirugías, 100 000 partos y más de 230 000 vidas salvadas.
Además, a través de la Operación Milagro para pacientes con enfermedades oftalmológicas, 47 273 haitianos fueron operados hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2009, al tiempo que 660 jóvenes de Haití estudian hoy en Cuba, 541 de ellos la carrera de Medicina.