Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 11, 2019

Cuban Doctors Provide Healthcare To Those In Need - The U.S. Wants To Stop Them

The Trump administration wants to reassert hegemony over Latin America. Cuba is one of its main targets. Through right wing allies and by its own means it targets Cuba's most successful export program - the provision of Cuban doctors to countries in need of them.

In 2002 the Bush administration created a program to train Latin American legal personal to wage a "war on corruption" in their home countries. Back in their countries the U.S. trained people would be fed U.S. intelligence on left wing politicians. It would allow them to launch which hunts on those the U.S. wanted out of the way.

Sérgio Moro, a Brazilian judge, took part in U.S. program. Fed with (dis-)information from the U.S. he launched lawfare against then President Lula of Brasil and his Worker Party. The campaign was successful. In 2018 Lula was put into jail solely based on dubious claims made by one criminal witness.

Protocols of leaked chats between Judge Moro, the prosecutor, and other people involved provide that his intent was not to serve justice but to incarcerate Lula to prevent his party from winning the presidency. The plot succeeded and the extreme right wing politician Jair Bolsonaro won the election. After his inauguration he immediately installed Moro as Minister of Justice.

Bolsonaro immediately started to take care of U.S. priorities. Especially the poor in Brazilians now have to suffer under these policies. Their access to healthcare has severely diminished:

During his campaign for the presidency, Mr. Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist, committed to making major changes to the Mais Médicos program, an initiative begun in 2013 when a leftist government was in power. The program sent doctors into Brazil’s small towns, indigenous villages and violent, low-income urban neighborhoods.

About half of the Mais Médicos doctors were from Cuba, and they were deployed to 34 remote indigenous villages and the poorer quarters of more than 4,000 towns and cities, places that established Brazilian physicians largely shun.
...
Cuban doctors have long complained about getting only a small cut of the money for their work, and Mr. Bolsonaro said they would have to be allowed to keep their entire salaries and to bring their families with them to Brazil. They would also have to pass equivalency exams to prove their qualifications.

“Our Cuban brothers will be freed,” Mr. Bolsonaro said in an official campaign proposal presented to electoral authorities. “Their families will be allowed to migrate to Brazil. And, if they pass the revalidation, they will begin to receive the entire amount that was being robbed by the Cuban dictators!”

Two weeks after Mr. Bolsonaro won the presidency in October, Cuba ordered all its doctors out.

There were a total of 11,500 Cuban doctors in Brazil. The Economist explained the deal:

The Cuban doctors participate in Brazil's Mais Médicos (More Doctors) programme, which aims to bring medical services to remote or underserved parts of the country by employing overseas doctors, mainly from Cuba. It was created in response to the mass protests that rocked Brazil in June 2013 over the poor quality of public services, including healthcare. The programme pays each participant a salary of around US$4,500 a month. However, the participation of Cuban doctors is organised through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The Brazilian government disburses the payments to the PAHO, which then transfers the monies to the Cuban government after taking a 5% administrative commission. The Cuban government pays the medical professionals working in Brazil a monthly salary of US$1,245, and pockets the rest.

Under the program housing and food for the doctors is paid by local authorities. Most of the Cuban doctors who volunteered for the program like it:

Yanet Rosales Rojas, 30, spent three years working in the Brazilian town of Poços de Caldas, where on average she earned more than 10 times her monthly salary in Cuba. She returned to the island last year, and was able to buy an apartment in Havana.

“You earn much more than what you get in Cuba. I always wanted to travel and treat people in other countries. This was my chance,” she said.

Leasing medical professionals is Cuba’s main export, bringing in more hard currency than tourism: last year professional services by doctors and nurse brought in $11bn, compared to $3bn in tourism.

The chance to earn abroad is major incentive to study medicine, ...

The doctors receive their education in Cuba for free. The income the Cuban Ministry of Public Health makes through the program is used to equip Cuban clinics and to import medicine. Cuba provides free healthcare to its citizens. 

Not all Cuban doctors in Brazil wanted to return to their home country. They had hoped to continue to work in Brazil, but their bet on Bolsonaro's words went bad:

More than 2,000 Cuban doctors have chosen to remain in Brazil, defying the call to return home. But with the special arrangement with Cuba terminated, they are now ineligible to practice medicine until they pass an exam — which the Brazilian government has not offered since 2017 and for which the Health Ministry has set no date.

The doctors not only lost their professional job and income but now also need to take up low income work.

Bolsonaro had promised to replace the Cuban doctors with Brazilian ones. But there are too few of them. They also do not want to work in remote towns or slums:

In February, it looked as if Mr. Bolsonaro would fulfill his promise: the national Health Ministry announced that all of the positions left vacant by Cuba’s withdrawal had been filled with Brazilian doctors. But by April, thousands of the new recruits had either quit or failed to show up for work in the first place.

In total some 28 million people across Brazil have lost access to a doctor:

“In several states, health clinics and their patients don’t have doctors,” said Ligia Bahia, a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. “It’s a step backward. It impedes early diagnoses, the monitoring of children, pregnancies and the continuation of treatments that were already underway.”

The Trump administration likes the steps Bolsonaro took. It wants to starve Cuba of access to hard currencies that the body leasing of doctors provides. It is also one of the reasons why it targets Venezuela:

Around 50,000 Cuban health professionals work in 66 countries worldwide, although around half of those work in Venezuela, with an additional 11,456 in Brazil.

The Cuban doctors in Brazil are gone and the U.S. is pressing for those in Venezuela to leave. Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton falsely claims that the Cuban doctors in Venezuela are military personal that should leave the country. The Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces have in total only 39,000 regular troops. To suggest that more than half of them are in Venezuela, even though none are ever seen there, borders on lunacy.

The Trump administration is looking for additional ways to destroy Cuba's doctor leasing program:

The George W. Bush administration initiated the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program (CMPP) in 2006. The idea was to persuade overseas Cuban doctors to abandon their posts and relocate to the United States. Cuba’s medical solidarity programs, in place for half a century, would suffer. President Obama ended the CMPP in January, 2017. Now the U.S. government wants to reinstate it.

Some have compared the Cuban leasing of doctors to other countries to 'human trafficking'. But it is no different from what IBM or other companies do when they train their staff and send them as consultants to other countries and companies. The consultants get a higher income than at home, and their company makes a large cut on whatever the customer pays.

The Cuban doctor program is good for the people of Cuba. Tens of millions of people in other Latin American and African countries depend on it for their basic healthcare.

The Trump administration just sent the hospital ship USNS Comfort to "help refugees from Venezuela". It is fake humanitarianism. The crisis the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela cause creates more damage than 1,000 such ships could compensate for. That the U.S., and right wing government it supports, are out to destroy it the Cuban doctor program shows that it has no intention to really care for people in need.

Posted by b on June 11, 2019 at 02:31 PM | Permalink

Comments

Bravo, b! Important article, showing US imperialists in their full degeneracy.

Posted by: Jeff Kaye | Jun 11, 2019 2:56:42 PM | 1

After Hurricane Katrina, Cuba offered to send 100s of doctors to help. Even after the way we had treated Cuba for 50+ years. We acted offended, and pretended we would actually help those of our own.

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Jun 11, 2019 2:58:31 PM | 2

Initially it sounds wrong that the Cuban government keeps a significant percentage of the money paid for overseas assignments. But when you consider their medical education is free - now costing about $300,000 in the US (not counting the low wage of internship of 3 years in US) plus the fact that everyone in Cuba gets free medical care - it seems fair that the doctors should help the Cuban health ministry - plus as was mentioned they still earn more than they would in Cuba. It is hard to find any US foreign policy that actually helps the general population anywhere. There are probably a few women in US foreign policy who help women overseas but this appears to blind them to the appalling effects otherwise of US foreign policy.

Posted by: gepay | Jun 11, 2019 3:10:48 PM | 3

"Four Venezuelan children in need of bone marrow transplants will be treated in Cuba, since their health is being affected by escalating U.S. sanctions on this sister country"

http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2019-06-06/cuba-with-venezuela-in-the-struggle-for-life

Posted by: arby | Jun 11, 2019 3:19:04 PM | 4

From one of the items I posted to the Week in Review earlier today:

"On June 5 the Washington Post reported that in its most recent persecution of migrant children 'The Trump administration is cancelling English classes, recreational programs and legal aid for unaccompanied minors staying in federal migrant shelters nationwide.' One shelter employee spoke for all civilised people when he said that 'educational classes and sports activities are crucial to maintaining physical and mental health while the children are in custody' but this means nothing to Trump and his followers, so many of whom seem to be bigots who actually take pleasure in making life disagreeable and distressing for people who have done them no harm but have in some fashion displeased them.

"The hostility of members of the Washington Establishment to those considered to be non-conformist extends world-wide, being displayed in the main by the massive US military presence in all parts of the globe. The aim appears to be world domination." [My Emphasis]

I've posted several further examples of TrumpCo's fascist hatred of others over the months and that the policies of dispossession overseas are now being used within the Outlaw US Empire. But when examined over the years, this is typical Republican demonization of the Other that goes back to Reagan for which the D Party shares blame/shame. Such news will hasten the downfall of Zero-sum and boost the onset of Multipolarity. Clearly, that can't happen soon enough for all too many innocents.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 11, 2019 3:44:43 PM | 5

“Off Topic”

b and the barflies. Please forgive me for this off topic post but I think it needs close attention, specially from you b.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/neocon-billionaire-paul-singer-driving-outsourcing-us-tech-jobs-israel/259147/

It is utterly disgusting how they are selling us out to prop up this shitty little country.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Jun 11, 2019 3:47:47 PM | 6

First comment, but couldn't let this slide. I lived in Belize for six years. During that time a neighbor was flown to Venezuela for eye surgery, treated by Cubans, and all, including flight was free for her, paid for by Venezuela, back when they had money. Venezuela, also, made a HUGE grant to Belize to get poor people their own houses. Unfortunately, the Belizeans in charge either stole most of it or gave the grants to their relatives.


But my main issue is Cuban doctors. My husband died in a Belizean hospital, and the Cuban doctors and nurses were the ONLY ones who cared and tried to help him. I will never, EVER say a bad word about Cuban doctors and won't hear others doing it either (not that anyone here has), but that's FIRST-HAND experience with them!

Posted by: pissedoffalese | Jun 11, 2019 3:49:15 PM | 7

American MSM and Alternative Media always blame socialism on the problems in Venezuela. Its absolutely stunning coming from one of the most socialized nations on the planet. I posted a comment on Zerohedge that American sanctions was exacerbating the situation and hurting the people. Caught a lot of flak for that. Americans are soooo indoctrinated they just repeat whatever gov or the media put out. It's really sickening.....

Posted by: ken | Jun 11, 2019 4:00:53 PM | 8

Having enjoyed the hospitality of Cubans in their country, I find them a warm and educated group far more intent on their close relationships than chasing the false dream of materialism.

Posted by: Don Task | Jun 11, 2019 4:20:59 PM | 9

@6 uj

Please allow me to use your comment to circle back to the topic at hand...

I hat to come across as someone who always beats the anti-zionism drum, it is often warranted, and particularly in this case

People are appalled, and right so, at the depraved conduct of the US via a vis domestic & foreign policy. But does it not mirror Israel's conduct & condescension towards Palestinians? The haughty superior stance that both take & treatment of all others as less than animals cannot be a coincidence. The two are surely connected and fed by the same poisoned stream...

Posted by: xLemming | Jun 11, 2019 4:21:51 PM | 10

This shouldn't be too surprising, even though the discontinuation of the Cuban doctor program in Brazil is clearly going to negatively impact public health in Brazil.
Doctors in nations with for-profit health care are in the same socio-economic category as lawyers and other professionals. I would not doubt that a significant part of the pushback against Lula and the "Communists" was by those groups whose livelihoods were being directly threatened.
Much as in the US, the practice of medicine in Brazil is like a guild in the medieval period: subject to many forms control in order to drive up the livelihoods of members.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 11, 2019 4:31:22 PM | 11

What are human rights and responsibilities to the society they live in?

In the West you are born into the God of Mammon religion and it associated concepts of private property and inheritance. Those tenets of the social contract in the West have created the extreme disparity in human welfare and the ongoing display of might-makes-right power to keep the parts of general populace from rebelling that they can't brainwash into believing we live in paradise or TINA.

There is now a serious chink in that armor. Empire has no chance to win by competing on merit because it has none but a myth covered by monotheistic religions who continue cover for one of their faith ilk.

When I consider where Chins and Cuba are now I keep thinking about the James Taylor song words...."I'm a steamroller baby and I'm gonna roll all over you....."

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 11, 2019 4:40:25 PM | 12

Thanks for the article. Cuba is a ray of hope in a dark world. Sauron can't stand it. And the European poodle pack lets him go unchallenged or supports him. Just like the murderers in Colombia and Brazil. Es ist zum heftig fremdschämen.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jun 11, 2019 4:45:48 PM | 13

Cuba's population in 1958 was approximately 7,000,000 people. Today, its 11,500,000. Pre revolutionary Cuba has 6,000 doctors, and half went to Miami at the behest of the United States. The quality of Cuban medicine significantly improved since 1959 with an entire, and state-of-the-artes pharmaceutical industry that supports public healthcare. Cuba graduates 10,000 medical students per year including providing full scholarships from poor international students from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the ghettos of the United States.

Posted by: El Cid | Jun 11, 2019 5:23:00 PM | 14

If they haven't alternative reasons for staying, those 2000 Cuban doctors who remained in Brazil have made a big mistake. If they can still return to Cuba, they'd best do so immediately.

Looks like a vicious trap set by the wingnuts of both Brazil and the USA.

They have no intention of putting these doctors to work as doctors.

They hate poor people - especially the poor who are smart enough not to vote for them.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jun 11, 2019 5:27:58 PM | 15

The United States has always supported reducing healthcare costs by killing people thus reducing future healthcare expenditures.

Posted by: El Cid | Jun 11, 2019 5:28:14 PM | 16

Cuba exports doctors; we export bombs and brag about our moral superiority. Our big beautiful bombs.

Soon we will dry up all sources of income for Cuba and Venezuela because they ... uh, they ... are small enough to crush and we are psychopaths.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 11, 2019 5:41:23 PM | 17

thanks b... i think this is quite an important article that highlights just how depraved private finance and by that i would include the ideology of the usa-west, is at this point... what a sick culture headed by the oh so appropriate bozo - trump - who epitomizes all that is wrong with 'might makes right' and might is represented by money primarily at this point.. cuba is one ray of light in a sea of darkness.. i sometimes work with cuban musicians and they are the best!

Posted by: james | Jun 11, 2019 5:43:43 PM | 18

Even in dire material circumstances, Cuban biomedicine continues to achive scientific feats in the area. Recently, they launched cimAvax egf, the first ever vaccin for lung cancer:

Nuevo hito en la biotecnología cubana

Revolutionary Cuba has used doctors to earn hard currency since at least the late Cold War: this is not a public secret -- neither for the world, nor for the doctors themselves.

The Cuban people work hard for a tiny fraction of their population to study medicine and become doctors. Those doctors are not doctors because of merit, but because the Cuban society decided they needed them and then acted to produce them. They are the fruit of Cuban socialism. Even those US$ 1,000 they are allowed to keep is already is a huge privilege, since Cuba is a socialist country, where they can get everything they need for free and don't need money to get it.

If those 2,000 Cuban doctors think they became doctors because of individual merit, then good luck in the "free market" of Brazil. Spoiler alert: I hope they like the lemon smell of disinfectant cleaners, because they'll have to get used to it.

Yes, some Cuban do desert: after all, if I'm a promising baseball player or boxer who has a chance to live like a millionaire in the USA, why wouldn't I? The USA is the best place in the world to live if you're a millionaire or a billionaire, no arguing that.

Posted by: vk | Jun 11, 2019 5:45:18 PM | 19

vk @19

"Cuba is a socialist country, where they can get everything they need for free and don't need money to get it."

Pretty sure that's not exactly the way Cuba operates.

Posted by: arby | Jun 11, 2019 6:12:14 PM | 20

@ Posted by: arby | Jun 11, 2019 6:12:14 PM | 20

Money in Cuba is used (domestically) as a tool of accountancy -- as was in the USSR. In order for you to have a full fledged "capitalist" money (money-capital), it has to do three functions: 1) unit of accountancy, 2) means of payment and 3) value reserve.

Money-capital exists in Cuba when it exports-imports.

Posted by: vk | Jun 11, 2019 6:25:44 PM | 21

@vk 21, i tend to agree with arby here... it is a bit more complicated then it is laid out... friends of mine who have visited and even gone into remote places off the tourist line speak of how much us$ are valued... i don't exactly know how it works, but there is an underground currency thing going on their too...

Posted by: james | Jun 11, 2019 6:45:02 PM | 22

The brilliant Cuban boxer Teofilio Stevenson won the heavyweight title at the 1980 Olympics. He rejected multi-million offers from US promoters to defect saying "What is a million dollars worth compared to the love of eight million Cubans?" I stood behind him once in the queue at Madrid airport but being young I didn't say anything...

Posted by: Lochearn | Jun 11, 2019 7:01:25 PM | 23

arby @20 & james @21

vk said "where they can get everything they need for free" - this means that they get what they need when they need it; it does not mean whatever they want when they want it.

Societies such as US, Canada, and (increasingly) UK, etc. only value people based on their money. Cuba and Venezuela challenge that model; that is why the US wants those societies destroyed; that was why the aid to Haiti was used to financialise, plunder and destroy the civic elements of Haitian society (and why the US was involved in Haiti - in the last year - in violently suppressing an uprising). It is why we in the west are slowly preparing to attack Iran.

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 11, 2019 7:25:28 PM | 24

@Ken -

"I posted a comment on Zerohedge that American sanctions was exacerbating the situation and hurting the people."

ZH is an interesting place. Lots of rabid Zionist trolls (hasbara trolls even) and lots of pissed off rightwing American males in the commentariat. Your statement is dead accurate and so basic that anyone over the age of 25 that doesn't accept it implicitly I view as either propagandized rubes or rightwing corporate-Wall Street ideologues. But ZH also has quite a few anti-war regulars like me.

Posted by: Kris | Jun 11, 2019 7:31:12 PM | 25

@24 adkc... well if that is all vk was getting at then i agree with him too.. .thanks..

Posted by: james | Jun 11, 2019 7:36:37 PM | 26

These efforts are good in the short term but in the long term when people realize they have been denied human rights for political reasons, generation will vote accordingly

Posted by: steve | Jun 11, 2019 7:40:55 PM | 27

The US doesn't like Cuba's doctors contributing to Cuba's foreign currency earnings. Right.

For the record, in the early 70's, a great part of South Korean foreign reserves were earned by its soldiers fighting in Vietnam. They were, in fact, a mercenary army paid for by the American military at the rough equivalent of forty dollars per month per soldier. Cheap!

But it adds up. Estimates are that 20% of Korean foreign currency earnings at the time were due to the 350,000 individual Korean soldiers who fought there, by far the largest foreign force after the Americans.

In short, in the US mind, foreign currency through medical services is bad but foreign currency though the killing industries is good.

Posted by: Castellio | Jun 11, 2019 8:03:31 PM | 28

It's important to see and understand what TrumpCo is doing to immigrants, asylum seekers, and the undocumented within the Outlaw US Empire along with millions of similar peoples in nations like Brazil, Haiti, Colombia, Ecuador--even the UK--where the Zero-sum philosophy reigns and compare the behavior toward them with the attempts to gut what was Romneycare--Obamacare--and other meager means of social support, Social Security and what remains of Union and Corporate Pension Plans. They want all those forms of support to die to be destroyed so they'll be of no use to those in need. That's how they treat all members of humanity not within their clique. The bolded citation within my prior comment says it all. And it's not just Republicans within TrumpCo. The Democrats that formed ObamaInc are no different--Biden, Harris, Pelosi, and their Blue Dog kin share the same Zero-sum mentality/disease and have actively fought improvements for the masses--Medicare For All is now the easiest way to measure such people's humanity.

After 2016, I saw what would happen in 2020 as a battle over what goes as the fundamental philosophy of the Outlaw US Empire--Zero-sum--versus the rising humanistic sharing/uplifting philosophy as embodied in Win-Win, both of which are readily seen in the two major current policy proposals--Medicare For All universal single-payer healthcare and its industrial/jobs policy partner dubbed the Green New Deal, which aims to uplift communities, modernize infrastructure and combat the Climate Crisis. Both policy proposals are based on the rationale for the government as spelled out in the Constitution's Preamble--To Promote the General Welfare. Ultimately, the 2020 election will be about what the core of the USA ought to be about--the rottenness as exemplified over the past two-three Me generations or the embracing of the goodness inherent in a community-based uplifting Us Society.

As I see it, continued pursuit of the status quo will lead to ruin whereas taking the Progressive path leads to redemption and possibility of a livable future. Yes, I believe it is that stark a difference.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 11, 2019 8:26:51 PM | 29

Par for the course with neo-confederates from Trumps administration. Now Trump and Pompeo want to block Corbyn from getting elected and eventually get access for wall street parasites to loot UK's national health service.
link

Posted by: Sol Invictus | Jun 11, 2019 8:27:20 PM | 30

Perhaps the US authorities fear that the spectacle of any nation providing effective and humane health care will agitate the US population, whose political class has diligently conditioned it to accept the reality that anything other that slow, agonizing decay and death via the tender mercies of the corporate insurance and health-industry cartel is simply "politically impossible".

This is another sorry example of the capitalist Amerikan overclass behaving like a rabid dog in the manger.

Posted by: Ort | Jun 11, 2019 8:34:11 PM | 31

Cuba has long been a vampire sucking the blood of their own people - then they moved on to draining the blood and freedom of the Venezuelan people.

It's rather astounding that we see people defending a state that steals the wages of their brightest, their doctors, export them like slaves to the world, and excuse it by saying those poor slaves still earn more than if they stayed in their own shit-hole country.

It's quite amusing to see those same folk complaining bitterly about a country that has pulled billions around the world of poverty, while praising the theft, slavery and genuine evil of a failed and doomed authoritarian state.

Shades of Python:
"Reg:
All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?"

Any faint remnant of self-realization left here?

Posted by: gda53 | Jun 11, 2019 8:46:46 PM | 32

Population control has been a national security concern of the US since 1974 (NSSM), and they are just puppets of the neomalthusian Global Elites who consider it one of their main global security issues.

Preventing health care or limiting it while allowing unsafe vaccines, EMR, glyphosate, GMO foods, gene edited livestock that will introduce health issues (fertility problems, shorter lifespans, etc) by damaging and altering DNA are all part of the program

Posted by: Pft | Jun 11, 2019 8:54:26 PM | 33

gda53--a TrumpCo acolyte most certainly exhibiting its utter lack of morality.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 11, 2019 9:00:11 PM | 34

Ken@8

Many of these sites are simply playgrounds of designated astroturfers. ZH for example has a 7 day wait for approval to comment there, presumably as they check your email address against a database that allows them to see comments using that address on other sites. If your comment history checks out to their standards you will be approved, and if nothing turns up you may be approved provisionally only to be banned later if you go against the party line. I got banned twice. No idea why as i kept my comments dumbed down for the audience. I guess my “Fake wrestling” theory might have done me in (;>)

I don't believe comments on blogs or social media represent the thoughts of the American people. Most have no thoughts and many of those who do are smart enough to keep quiet to keep their jobs and pensions safe.

Posted by: Pft | Jun 11, 2019 9:10:44 PM | 35

I never cared much for Trump, even if he is from my state. Heck, I wrote in American Pharaoh for president on election night. But now he seems to be just as bad or worse than any president we have had so far. He still seems to be stuck in the 1950’s, hellbent on eliminating Socialism and/or Communism from the world. He’s a reincarnated McCarthy with the finger on the nuclear trigger.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Jun 11, 2019 9:23:46 PM | 36

@ Posted by: james | Jun 11, 2019 6:45:02 PM | 22

Well, yes, Cuba is a socialist island in a capitalist sea. There's also the Convertible Cuban Peso, which was a disaster for the economy. Of course distortions do happen. But, in the abstract, that's how the system should work.

@ Posted by: gda53 | Jun 11, 2019 8:46:46 PM | 32

That's a purely ideological point of view. The concept of wage doesn't exist in the socialist system; there's also no "earn". Objectively, a bunch of Cubans were "chosen" to be doctors, at the expense of everybody else. Of course, there must be some sort of meritocratic method to choose those individual (e.g. a test), and enrollment must be voluntary -- otherwise society would be wasting precious resources with people who either couldn't be doctors even if they wanted to and/or don't want to be doctors. They didn't "deserve" to be doctors: they were just born in the right circumstances. They certainly owe everything they have to the Revolution, since if it wasn't for it they would be picking tobacco for the Americans in slave conditions.

Posted by: vk | Jun 11, 2019 9:40:59 PM | 37

Leasing medical professionals is Cuba’s main export, bringing in more hard currency than tourism: last year professional services by doctors and nurse brought in $11bn, compared to $3bn in tourism.

I just had an idea about another potential Cuban export: extended (with tuition) medical seminars in a neutral nation unlikely to be pounced on by the US of A. Places with nice beaches and pleasant climate. When I typed in search terms 'inadequate us medical training' quite a few 'hits' resulted. We seem to be doing not too well in pain management, end-of-life-care, and nutrition. The latter I can relate to, for I've NEVER had any advice from a medical person about the things I need in that regard. In fact, I suspect most of the doctors I encounter know less than I do about the topic. Then there is this:

I wanted to provide abortions for my patients. My med school wouldn’t teach me how.

Not getting any training is one thing, but having no practice with the procedure is another. We need to assume the holier-than-thou nutters aren't always going to be in charge of other people's medical needs.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 11, 2019 9:51:42 PM | 38

@ gda53 | Jun 11, 2019 8:46:46 PM #32

It's rather astounding that we see people defending a state that steals the wages of their brightest, their doctors, export them like slaves to the world, and excuse it by saying those poor slaves still earn more than if they stayed in their own shit-hole country.

Let me guess: you want all the Cubans to stay home in the festering poverty created by US sanctions until they come to their senses and happily embrace the US Empire.

Probably your your views on the Palestinians are something to behold.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 11, 2019 10:00:31 PM | 39

gda53 you think usa has " pulled billions out of poverty". I think you are confusing things.USA has killed millions around the world.

Posted by: voicum | Jun 11, 2019 10:10:54 PM | 40

Not knowing of any recent news involving Cuba, I made a search for that word with the output limited to the past week. Lo and behold, something for poster gda53 to savor.

Cuba Rations Food As Its Socialist Economy Enters Crisis Mode

Others can pick it apart and have a good laugh. My long-term impression of libertarian 'institutes' like this one is that they're populated by a bunch of highly educated idiots. That impression was verified in spades when I followed up by taking a look at what the Mises people have written about Global Warming.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 11, 2019 10:25:52 PM | 41

If any of Uncle Sam's peons want to do more than tap tap on the keyboard they might consider participating in this year's Caravan to Cuba organized by Pastors for Peace:


Since 1992 IFCO/Pastors for Peace has organized Friendshipment caravans to Cuba.

With each Friendshipment caravan, and each successive effort we make to resist the US economic blockade of Cuba, the US government has been compelled to back down, to relent, to soften its enforcement of the blockade.

https://ifconews.org/

I'm proud to say I've worked with these folks to directly challenge the US blockade of Cuba. I wish my health would allow me to do so again. They are the real deal, and their tireless work has been completely ignored by the entire media machine for the past thirty years. Perhaps b will consider looking into their story.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jun 11, 2019 11:10:16 PM | 42

Met someone at a small seminar/workshop in Australia a couple of months ago from Brazil. She seemed nice enough until I mentioned Lulu. Instantly that pathological cult haze covered her eyes as a stream of hostile words about the man emerged. Basically, he was accused of being a two-faced criminal etc. I found this a bit of a shock given I'd formed a basically positive image of Lulu from reading Pepe Escobar's work over the years. Given this event was a foresight orientated theme it came out that the 'Singularity University' was all over Brazil and influencing (it seemed) various pundits and policy etc. She was on a mission to get new insights etc. I've seen that 'neocon' glaze in the eyes and zeal in the psyche before. Not healthy! I'm not sure about this Singularity University -- but it sounds like another Trojan horse on the front line.

Posted by: imo | Jun 12, 2019 12:05:01 AM | 43

"Probably your your views on the Palestinians are something to behold."

The who? Oh, you mean the Arabs?

Probably.

Posted by: gda53 | Jun 12, 2019 12:17:46 AM | 44

ADKC @ 24 said in part;"Societies such as US, Canada, and (increasingly) UK, etc. only value people based on their money. Cuba and Venezuela challenge that model; that is why the US wants those societies destroyed.

Absolutely, and beyond that, the deprived and avarice ridden uber-wealthy, are scared sh**less of the morality involved in sharing the wealth of nations with all who live and work there.

They MUST be crushed, before those examples are noticed by the workers of the world.

Such is the ongoing foreign policy of the U$A and it's minions.

Posted by: ben | Jun 12, 2019 12:35:25 AM | 45

@vk

Seriously, dude? And you truly believe that load of codswallop? Interesting.

Posted by: gda53 | Jun 12, 2019 12:35:40 AM | 46

@voicum

Well, perhaps only a billion or so in the past 25 years.

Millions dead, you say? Names and addresses, please? No Fake News references, thank you.

Posted by: gda53 | Jun 12, 2019 12:40:08 AM | 47

"... The Cuban doctor program is good for the people of Cuba. Tens of millions of people in other Latin American and African countries depend on it for their basic healthcare ..."

It seems that quite a few people in the United States also depend on Cuban-trained doctors for their basic healthcare.

Milan Korcok: Cuba trains American medical students — to work in US

No wonder the US government is so keen to destroy Cuba" rel="nofollow">

Posted by: Jen | Jun 12, 2019 1:08:24 AM | 48

That last sentence @ 48 should read:
No wonder the US government is so keen to destroy Cuba's program of leasing / exporting doctors and healthcare - it is coming to the US itself and might rival what currently constitutes US healthcare.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 12, 2019 1:10:37 AM | 49

Today I heard Pepe Escobar speaking on the TV247 Brasil. about this whole issue in the geopolitical context including the issue of the split between the Deep state, one part supported by the Clinton and the other supported by Trump's ones.
It was an eye open to see the breath of his knowledge. Being a person that speaks 5 idioms, read and write and able to zeroing in some subjects of interest (more than 65 years), I find fascinating how Pepe is able to look the macro in the geopolitical scene... He is really good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR2bJHN2Qes

Sorry it is in Portuguese. There are incredible pearls of info in this interview.

Posted by: geeuiwx | Jun 12, 2019 1:11:46 AM | 50

Thanks for this.

Cuba's medical system has been much admired in the world for years. It is a genuine national achievement.

Naturally, the Appalachian Throwbacks now running international affairs in Washington dislike the system, if for no other reason than it speaks well of Cuba.

Cuba is on Bolton's "hit list" for sure.

In this, as in so much else, America has effectively made of itself a negative force in the world, a kind of Mafia state that focuses on hurting anything over which it has no control or which offers the world a counter-example of the way things should be done.

What an extremely nasty way to spend your time.

But then, America's ongoing major activity abroad - bombing the crap out of people everywhere - does offer the world an unparalleled example of viciousness.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Jun 12, 2019 1:45:13 AM | 51

B,

Thanks for bringing up the great work Cuban medical personnel do around the world. Here are a couple more examples:

"CubaOperation Miracle, the free Cuban-Venezuelan eyecare program has brought back sight to more than 700,000 Bolivians in the last 12 years."
https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Cuban-Venezuelan-Program-Returns-Eyesight-to-700000-Bolivians-20190318-0025.html

"Brazilians Flock To Bolivia For Cuban Healthcare"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cepjQx3z4xM

Posted by: Krollchem | Jun 12, 2019 4:06:49 AM | 52

@karlof1 #29
I fear I fundamentally disagree with your view on ObamaCare.
Yes, Obamacare did outlaw a handful of practices which were abhorrent: denial of insurance based on pre-existing conditions.
However, the real purpose of health care reform was to reduce the cost and increase the availability of health care in the United States.
Here is the last 10 years of health care spending as a percentage of GDP
Note that the percentage of GDP spent on health care has actually gone up.
In addition, health insurance premiums have also gone up.
Note that the average cost for just the health insurance for a family is now a shade under $20,000. Given the median income, this is outrageous particularly since this expense doesn't even represent overall health care spending - it represents the spend to have insurance.
As I've noted many time - the United States spends roughly twice what everyone else spends on health care as a percentage of the entire economy. We're talking about $1.5 to $2 trillion every year more than if Americans spent as much as, say, the Swiss.
It doesn't matter whose official pocket pays for this: government, private, Medicare, whatever - the amount is so outrageous that it beggars belief.
Put another way: if we look at all of the money spent by the US on defense - including VA, pensions, overseas adventures/bases, whatever - that amount is less than the additional health care spend that the US pays for over what every single other 1st or 2nd world nation spends, as a percentage of GDP.
It is like we have 1.5 extra military budgets on top of the existing military budget, on top of health care spending.
That $1.5 to $2 trillion additional health care spend (I call it the Health Care Bezzle) would pay off all outstanding student loans, or all outstanding credit card debt, maybe even both at once, and that is how much extra is being spend every year
The fact that this has been going on for so long, is the worst condemnation of incompetent American government that can possibly be made.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 12, 2019 5:14:38 AM | 53

I have a friend from North Dakota who studied medicine in Havana. He was a part of an on-going program that has existed for more than a decade where worthy candidates from the United States (male, female, black, white, whatever) are chosen for the standard four year program and receive their medical education at absolutely no expense. The program is entirely in Spanish and so my friend and his American classmates had to take their board exams back in the States in English to practice there. My friend specialized in surgery, but others go into research or pediatrics or oncology or any of the other fields in modern medicine.
Think for a second about what I'm saying. The Cubans are educating young Americans FOR FREE so that they can practice medicine in the United States. And this after everything that the USA has done to Cuba. Simply extraordinary, I say.

Posted by: john | Jun 12, 2019 7:45:22 AM | 54

@ Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 11, 2019 10:25:52 PM | 41

Well, of course there's no hunger in Cuba. Mises Institute is an ultraliberal institution, not a trustable source.

However, it is important to highlight that even in the capitalist world, very few countries produce all the food they need -- and that includes almost all of Europe. The difference here is, of course, access to the world market and, more importantly, capitalism's capacity to tolerate huge chunks of its population suffering from hunger. When people in a capitalist country suffers any kind of deprivation, society simply states he/she doesn't deserve to saciate his/her needs. Capitalism doesn't eliminate hunger: it normalizes it.

Posted by: vk | Jun 12, 2019 7:59:26 AM | 55

The US blockade on Cuba has cost it over $130bn over many decades, but Cuba still ranks higher than the US in terms of the health of its population.

Cuba placed above US in international health poll

Cuba ranks five places above the United States according to a report on the state of the world’s health. According to the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, Cuba finishes in 30th place, and the US in 35th. The annual report ranks 169 economies according to factors that contribute to overall health.

The index grades nations based on variables including life expectancy while imposing penalties on risks such as tobacco use and obesity. It also takes into consideration environmental factors including access to clean water and sanitation.

Cuba improved its previous position, and is the only nation not classified as "high income" by the World Bank to be ranked that high.

Spain finished top, with the UK coming in at 19th, behind countries including France, New Zealand, Canada and the Netherlands.

2019 Bloomberg Healthy Nation rankings
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D0YoF2pU8AAUqwy.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D0YoF2yUYAAeUMQ.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D0YoF3AUUAIAWLk.jpg

Source:

Bloomberg: These Are the World’s Healthiest Nations

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 12, 2019 8:11:27 AM | 56

Health Care: Cuba vs. U.S.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saVoA2Zjn_Q

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 12, 2019 8:17:27 AM | 57

There is NOTHING our self-appointed elites hate more than some asshole in some foreign country trying to govern a lot better than they do for a much smaller slice of the cake.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 12, 2019 8:27:19 AM | 59

teleSUR:

Since 1990, Cuban medics have treated over 26,000 victims of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Ukraine, scientific network Scielo reported in a recent study.

The areas of treatment, according to Scielo, were primarily focused on dermatology, endocrinology and gastroenterology.

The report detailed that 84 percent of the total number of patients treated were children from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

The medical program was free of charge for all victims.

The Guardian:

Ukrainian authorities have expressed their gratitude to Cuba on several occasions. But though it forms part of Cuba's international revolutionary PR, the difference between this programme and others – such as the exchange of Cuban medical expertise for Venezuelan oil – is that there is no economic gain. The programme even survived Cuba's economic crisis of the early 90s, the so-called "special period" after the fall of the Soviet bloc.

Austerity is still apparent across the island, but the Chernobyl project has survived thanks to an agreement between the two countries: Ukraine covers transportation, while room, board, schooling and medical services are covered by Cuba. Some unofficial estimates put Cuba's expenditure at more than $300m (£180m) in medical costs alone.

"Many people who are unaware of our ideals still wonder what Cuba might be after," Dr Julio Medina, general co-ordinator of the programme, recently told the Cuban newspaper Granma: "It is simple: we do not give what we have in excess; we share all that we have."

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 12, 2019 8:33:56 AM | 60

CounterPunch:

Medical Internationalism in Cuba
by JOHN M. KIRK

“What is the secret of our approach? It lies in the fact that human capital can achieve far more than financial capital. Human capital implies not only knowledge but also-crucially important- political awarenes,. ethics, a sense of solidarity, truly human feelings, a spirit of sacrifice, heroism and the capacity to do a lot with very little”
--- Fidel Castro Ruz, at the first graduation of ELAM students, August 2005

The often-repeated quotation, allegedly from Máximo Gómez that “los cubanos, o no llegan, o se pasan” certainly applies to the programme of Cuban medical internationalism. Cuba certainly “se ha pasado” in terms of this policy: as of April 2012 there were 38,868 Cuban medical professionals working in 66 countries–of whom 15,407 were doctors (approximately 20% of Cuba’s 75,000 physicians). In Africa some 3,000 Cuban medical personnel are currently working in 35 of the continent’s 54 countries, while in Venezuela alone there are approximately 30,000. But that is only part of the story, since there are many other significant facets to Cuban medical internationalism. In all cases it can be argued that “human capital” is the most important common denominator.

This article, based upon seven years of research and some 70 interviews with Cuban medical personnel, both in Cuba and abroad, seeks to provide a broad overview of the importance of Cuban medical internationalism. There are several, very different, programmes of medical cooperation that have been employed, and this article offers basic data on their evolution and impact, as well as providing some analysis of the rationale for their development.

<...>

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 12, 2019 8:43:18 AM | 61

United States Infant mortality rate:

Infant mortality rate: total: 5.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)

Cuba Infant mortality rate:

Infant mortality rate: total: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)

Definition: This entry gives the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country.

Posted by: John Smith | Jun 12, 2019 8:53:56 AM | 62

john @ 54

yours is a great point (wish it was mine), lost in the greater morass of american exceptionalism.

i just wanted to point out that you're posting under my moniker...which can create unnecessary confusion.

Posted by: john | Jun 12, 2019 8:57:19 AM | 63

@Uncle Jon, #6: I second that proposal. What is happening there is vile, and makes the Huawei case look like a soap opera, and Russian/Chinese "nefarious" activities like child's play.

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jun 12, 2019 9:27:07 AM | 64

Here's an example of the concept of "freedom" from the capitalist (liberal) point of view:

Hong Kong's identity as a city of rights and freedom is under threat – so we protest

The seminal excerpt of the opinion piece above being this:

In the past, Hong Kong had distinguished itself on the basis of wealth: Hong Kong was rich, while the rest of China was struggling to bring its population out of poverty. However, over the twenty years since the handover in 1997, as Hong Kong’s economy has drifted and China’s boomed, that distinction has failed to hold. Pride rooted in materialism has been replaced by a deeper pride among Hong Kongers, based around the notion of “Hong Kong Core Values”, those rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong that distinguish it from the rest of China. Hong Kong Core Values include: a lively and unfettered media, the right to participate in the electoral and governing process, freedom to criticise the government, rule of law and due process, an independent judiciary, and, of course, the right to protest. “Hong Kong core values” has become the answer to the question: “What does it mean to be a Hong Konger?”

Deng Xiaoping's first Special Economic Zone was in Shenzhen: he was a wise man and -- History would prove later -- a loyal and committed Communist. He knew those Britishized motherfuckers from Hong Kong would cause a problem, so he used the Taiwan strategy to stifle those liberals-beyond-the-flatlands.

However, the author tells us the wrong story: Hong Kongers' quest for "independence" from the Mainland doesn't come from the fact that they identify themselves as non-Chinese or very different Chinese, but the very fact that they lost their economic luster. The change in the rhetoric was a change of tactics, but the strategy remains the same:

China delivers Hong Kong’s existential moment

In June 1995, the fabled business publication raised this most provocative of questions with a “Death of Hong Kong” cover story. It explored how the city’s return to Communist Chinese rule two years later, in July 1997, might wreck the “world’s most aggressively pro-business economy.”
[...]
The “goose that laid the golden egg” argument, says Simon Pritchard of Gavekal Research, has long comforted the laissez–faire crowd. First, Hong Kong provided capital and entrepreneurial know-how. Then it served as China’s conduit to the world, its financial plumbing. There’s reason to think Hong Kong will remain something a “green zone” for capital flows.
“Yet there is a non-trivial chance that Beijing’s incursions on judicial independence, and US anxiety about Hong Kong’s role in enabling the rise of a strategic rival, will conspire to erode the city-state’s special position,” Pritchard says.

In other words, Hong Kong is the "city of rights and freedom" because it is the “world’s most aggressively pro-business economy”, a fact which "has long comforted the laissez–faire crowd". Here we don't have any doubts: freedom is equated to capitalism; if you're not capitalist, you're not free by definition.

And this, of course, is not a Hong Konger innovation. The French Constitution of 1793 -- considered the most radical one -- had already manifested this false equivalency:

2. These rights are equality, liberty, security, and property.

6. Liberty is the power appertaining to man to do whatever is not injurious to the rights
of others
. It has nature for its principle, justice for its rule, law for its safeguard. Its moral limit lies in this maxim: Do not to others that which you do not wish to be done to you.

16. The right of property is the right appertaining to every citizen to enjoy and dispose at will of his goods, his income, and the product of his labor and skill.

17. No kind of labor, tillage, or commerce may be forbidden the industry of citizens.

Posted by: vk | Jun 12, 2019 9:55:38 AM | 65

Trumpco can't stand the fact that Cuba is a respected global healing force while Zionist U.S. is a force for evil, destruction and human suffering. The U.S. only sends its humanitarian Trojan Horse to mark its territory.

I hope you all understand the fact that Bolsanaro was Zionist Trump's and Netanyahoo's candidate of choice, and there was meddling in Brazil's election. Just like presently Zionist Trumpco and his Israeli cohorts are trying to ensure that Corbyn never becomes Prime Minister in the U.K. They want Boris to win just like some Zionist Trump lingering bootlickers around here.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 12, 2019 10:00:54 AM | 66

And the Democrats won't get easy on Cuba either:

Democratic candidates demand the US prepare to fight the “wars of the future”

“Our military capabilities exist for a reason… we stand ready to use force,” Buttigieg declared, adding that the US must prepare for the “wars of the future.”

Calling China a “threat,” Biden, speaking in Davenport, Iowa, said, “We are in a competition with China. We need to get tough with China. They are a serious challenge to us.” The former vice president criticized Trump for alienating US allies and said as president he would “build a united front of allies to challenge” China, adding, “We need to rally more than half the world’s economy to hold China to account.”

Posted by: vk | Jun 12, 2019 10:38:52 AM | 67

I usually agree with karlof1 and am grateful for all the links he provides us, but
c1ue at 53 is correct. Medicare for All is not Single Payer, nor was Obamacare anything like it. The problem for both is they were and are programs in which privatized medical insurance drives the medical system. I know because as a Medicare patient it took me three years to pay extra costs for my Medicare supported hospitalization some years back. Medicare for All is not the answer; Single Payer is, because it excludes privatized insurance which is the be-all end-all for both Democrats and Republicans.

Thank you, b, for shining the spotlight on Cuba's excellent medical outreach. The 'manufacture' and export of physicians is surely a better national employment than the manufacture and export of bombs. And it is a shameful practice for the US to be engaged in repressing the former in favor of the latter. That's where the emphasis should lie, not in questioning what Cuba is doing and how she does it.

By their fruits, ye shall know them.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 12, 2019 11:05:17 AM | 68

@juliania 68
I think the problem are much deeper than that. The real problem still the culture of money worship.

Posted by: HW. | Jun 12, 2019 11:31:30 AM | 69

51;The Appalachian throwbacks?No,the zionists run every cash machine to them.

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 12, 2019 11:41:12 AM | 70

In extension of my comment above, an excellent commentary on the attitude of the US government to those caught up in the immigration network can be found at the following site:

https://shadowproof.com/


I have separated out the article in question.

2019/06/10/physicans-for-human-rights-report-ice-cbp-target-patients-doctors/

If on preview this looks okay I shall post it. Simply join the two links to access the article. It documents practices of ICE in dealing with migrants needing medical care.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 12, 2019 12:09:39 PM | 71

@32 gda53

Have you actually been to Cuba? I have... recently

Yes, they are "poor", but they are kind, caring, proud & fiercely independent people!

And rather than buckles under decades of inhuman sanctions, they have become stronger, and the epitome of MacGuyver spirit!

Everywhere you look you can see images of Che - much more so than Castro - on buildings, billboards, clothing, etc

And if you want to see how they view themselves and the rest of the world, check out their bookshops...

There you will find such gems as:

- Cold War: Warnings for a Unipolar World - Castro
- Global Justice: liberation and socialism - Guevara
- Cuba: Untold History - Capitan San Luis
- Seven League Giant: An illustrated handbook of US aggression against the peoples of Our America

Check out the last if you wanna see how they view the US - pretty scary...

The peoples of Cuba, Venezuala, Syria, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Ukraine & beyond deserve our support & prayers - they are brave & courageous - we are fat, compliant sheep by comparison - and soon enough we will be in their position...

Posted by: xLemming | Jun 12, 2019 12:19:31 PM | 72

@64,Got ya, from now on I'm johnph ;)

Posted by: johnph | Jun 12, 2019 12:25:48 PM | 73

@john 63, I put the wrong number. Anyway, changed my moniker

Posted by: johnph | Jun 12, 2019 12:27:56 PM | 74

c1ue @53--

What are you talking about? I wrote that Trump and GOP were trying to gut--to kill--Obama/Rommny/Care and worsen the already grossly dysfunctional healthcare situation for the masses within the Outlaw US Empire, thus the parallel between domestic and foreign policy. You "disagree" they're trying to do just that, or attempted to prior to the 2018 mid-terms!? The GOP and allied Blue Dogs such as Obama and Clinton haven't been trying their best to destroy Social Security while corporations gut/raid/destroy once healthy pension plans? Isn't it rather clear their policies are anti-human at home and abroad? Now they want to use a WW2 Concentration Camp to house the immigrant children they've kidnapped!!! I must agree with Circe that TrumpCo is despicable, evil, and must be deposed then buried forever with as many stakes through its Hydra hearts/heads as required. Unfortunately, there're thousands of them, which ought to scare most people into action.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 12, 2019 12:32:02 PM | 75

@ juliania | Jun 12, 2019 11:05:17 AM #68

Medicare for All is not Single Payer, nor was Obamacare anything like it.

A relative of mine was shocked when I explained to him that what you say is true. He had been exposed to endless 'information' on the TeeVee where the two were always used as interchangeable synonyms.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 12, 2019 12:34:06 PM | 76

After being exposed to the information on this Cuba thread, I've started wondering if the ongoing assault on Venezuela hasn't had a dual goal of taking down Cuba. Venezuela may be in the "nice-to-have" category, but Cuba is the nation which really sticks in the craws of the neocons.

Trump's recently declared Cruise Ships belonging to other countries could no longer stop in Cuba. IMO it's insane that a US president has such powers, and what other motive could there be than to pile on in the campaign to weaken Cuba?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jun 12, 2019 12:43:45 PM | 77

Fidel was one of the most informed leaders out there during his stint. Especially on international current events. Anytime a big event would happen, he would already know most details and had already a plan of action. For example in the huge earthquake in Pakistan in 2005, Fidel immediately sent 2,500 Cuban doctors who treated about 1.7 million victims. For this he was given the highest civilian honor by Pakistan.

Another example is the Haiti earthquake. Cuba put the entire rich Western world to shame by the support they provided to Haiti.

Posted by: Comandante | Jun 12, 2019 1:02:29 PM | 78

Sanders wades in and interferes in Brazilian politics:

During his presidency, Lula da Silva oversaw huge reductions in poverty and remains Brazil’s most popular politician. I stand with political and social leaders across the globe who are calling on Brazil’s judiciary to release Lula and annul his conviction.

American interference in other countries politics should cease immediately and I'm glad to see that no other Democrats have joined Sanders in making such statements.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 12, 2019 2:06:39 PM | 79

GS @79,

LOL, The US is almost directly responsible for installing Bolsinaro and the lawfare jailing of his opponent Lula.

Not by retweeting a tweet.

Posted by: arby | Jun 12, 2019 2:13:28 PM | 80

arby, Ghost Ship is being sardonic. It is surprising if true that Bernie would stick his neck out at all, but it's most likely that Gabbard and Gravel would also support Lula.

Posted by: NOBTS | Jun 12, 2019 3:26:09 PM | 81

OK,

Posted by: arby | Jun 12, 2019 4:01:08 PM | 82

NOBTS--
Just checked Sander's twitter account. Yes he tweeted that.

Must admit that it sort of surprised me as well. Shows that Sanders is watching the goings on.

Posted by: arby | Jun 12, 2019 4:05:15 PM | 83

@karlof1 #75
ObamaCare is "No Health Insurance Company left behind".
It causes the government to pay for a few million of the poorest Americans, but does absolutely nothing to reduce health care spending or costs.
It did (and does) prevent any more substantive reform.
So I'm perfectly fine with Obamacare going down.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 12, 2019 4:09:05 PM | 84

@79 Ghost Ship

Are you kidding me??? Bolsanaro is the result of Zionist Regime Change! Bernie's right!

Posted by: Circe | Jun 12, 2019 4:59:37 PM | 85

>>>> Circe | Jun 12, 2019 4:59:37 PM | 85

Read NOBTS @ Jun 12, 2019 3:26:09 PM | 81.

And it's nothing to do with the Zionists though they are quite happy to have support from fascist anti-semites like Bolsanaro. Nah, it's the "liberal" corporate Democrats in Washington (who are no better than the Republicans when it comes to policy) who are to blame as they are intent on preventing successful socialism anywhere in the world as that would prevent them raping and pillaging the country concerned and persuade Americans that capitalism is a pile of shit. The attack on Lula started while Obama was in the White House.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 12, 2019 5:56:06 PM | 86

@86 Ghost Ship

It has everything to do with Zionists! Netanyahoo was heavily involved as he was in Trump's election. Do the research! Netanyahoo was the first foreign official to visit the newly-elected Bolsanaro. Bolsanaro was singing the praises of Israel after the election.

Bolsanaro professes love for Israel

Posted by: Circe | Jun 12, 2019 6:15:18 PM | 87

>>>> Circe | Jun 12, 2019 6:15:18 PM | 87

Nah, it's a cheap way for a fascist anti-semite to kiss Washington's arse without upsetting his fascist anti-semite supporters. Israel was as much an anti-semite creation as a Zionist creation.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 12, 2019 6:37:14 PM | 88

@75karlof1

Not sure if you watched the sickening news conference Trump held with Polish Prez Duda. Apparently Trump is moving 2000 troops into Poland and considering building a big beautiful base to be named Fort Trump by the Poles! This gets crazier by the minute.

He also went off on a crowd-size tangent claiming a million people were protesting against China in Hong Kong but hopes it will be good for China and Hong Kong. Good in what way? Taiwan kind of good?

Posted by: Circe | Jun 12, 2019 6:38:09 PM | 89

" President Obama ended the CMPP in January, 2017. Now the U.S. government wants to reinstate it."
Ah, yes, one of the "Obama era" improvements, made (literally) as Obama was leaving office after 8 years, that the Evil Trump is trying to roll back.
There were also regulations to protect water that Obama put in as he was walking out the door, after 8 years of ignoring pollution, that are referred to as "Obama era" regulations.
This kind of nonsense makes Dems swoon in self righteous indignation, while ignoring the obvious fact that both of the duopoly parties are greedy, evil, corrupt war mongers.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jun 12, 2019 7:10:04 PM | 90

#89 Funny.

Polish gov't year or two ago said they would be happy to have American military base and they would pay for all the expenses. Basically they asked to rent USArmy.

Remember Trump's complain that West European nations by use of NATO defraud USA by getting American military umbrella while reneging on their NATO member payments, and that means NATO is obsolete and harming and should be gone for good, if not fixed ( which is, W.E. nations starting to pay 2% of GDP or something ).

So, the Polish offer brushes him right. He now probably gets paid for USArmy, as he wanted to. And he can stick this example to Germany/France/Spain/Italy back.

Poles also made themselves more of a useful tool against core EU nations which always brushed them right.

So i guess that was happening for years, and i am even feeling glad for them both if it works out: both TrumpCo and Poland are having thus marriage of souls and mutual happiness. I wish them best together.

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 12, 2019 9:16:51 PM | 91

Posted by: vk | Jun 12, 2019 9:55:38 AM | 65

Is this the reason that China wants to change the extradition law?

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-and-crime/article/2185895/mother-hong-kong-woman-killed-taiwan-pleads-change-law

Posted by: haze | Jun 12, 2019 10:00:59 PM | 92

juliania #68

In the last few years my wife was good for at least 3 hospitalizations per year. She was on oxygen for 2 years and kidney dialysis 3 times a week for 3 years which Medicare covered at 80%. Except for a few little niggling charges at the hospital I paid zero except for the Part B deductible which is now about $180 per year. Recently she had a CT scan and her part of the bill was almost $500 and we paid zero. All due to having a private Medicare Supplement policy. For an average, prices vary per insurance company, of around $150 a month you can get a supplement policy. Don't confuse this with a Medicare Advantage policy which is a very different animal which is totally private and replaces Medicare. By taking an optional rider for under $10 a month it covers the $1350 copay for a Part A hospital stay.

Point is too many people go blindly into Medicare or they use the excuse they can't afford the extra hundred bucks a month, even though they can but they are too cheap and if they are really poor Medicade may step in, for a supplement and end up with huge medical bills and wail about going hungry to feed the hospital. Unlike many I spent the time to educate myself on Medicare and options and signed us up for supplements when we enrolled in Medicare. If I had not instead of having a decent retirement I would have been bankrupt long before now. We must all realize that in our final years there will be medical bills so it is in ones best interest to investigate the landscape not just blindly walk into it and then whine and cry when the bills pile up.

Posted by: snedly arkus | Jun 12, 2019 10:39:49 PM | 93

Haze @ 92:

It's the Hong Kong Legislative Council that wants to change the law, not Beijing.

Certainly the crime committed by a Hong Kong man in Taiwan and the dilemma the murderer has put Taiwanese police in (by returning to HK) occurred at a convenient time. The crime may have possibly spurred the councillors to start acting as they have done to change the law.

Just as likely is the possibility that Hong Kong is a convenient tax haven for Chinese and Taiwanese billionaires.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 13, 2019 2:13:46 AM | 94

I really don't like to play the 'Israel card' but ...

1. Israel has Dolphin class Submarines and a Naval base at Eilat with direct access to the Red Sea. If it was a Torpedo attack they have the means.

2. A submarine attack would be undetected or at the very least is there any other country other than the U.S. with the means to detect such an attack and would we spill the beans?

3. It's Netanyahu, he shoots unarmed Palestinian boys, bombs Syria, and has been trying to get us to attack Iran for decades.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Jun 13, 2019 9:17:51 AM | 95

@snedly arkus #93
The impact Medicare has on cost isn't just payment. Medicare has the lowest list prices for pretty much anything, anywhere, because it is the single largest health care payer in the US.
This dynamic is one of the primary cost reducing impacts of national health care: even in the majority of nations which permit private health insurance and/or private care, the fact that anyone can see what the "free" (national) health care cost for anything is, keeps prices low.
Contrast that with the US, where it is virtually impossible to know what the actual out of pocket cost is for anything outside of Medicare.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 13, 2019 5:49:21 PM | 96

@ Zachary Smith | Jun 12, 2019 12:43:45 PM | 77

You bet you. Indeed, Bolton made it official, and the list includes Guatemala too. The MSM has sucked up the story, e.g. https://nypost.com/2018/11/03/venezuela-cuba-nicaragua-team-trumps-new-latin-axis-of-evil/

Posted by: fx | Jun 15, 2019 11:31:14 AM | 97

Sorry, make Nicaragua the third “Troika of Tyranny” country. Guatemala has a murderous dictator and has become a cesspool of drug traficking and violence, like the US likes them.

Posted by: fx | Jun 15, 2019 11:33:57 AM | 98

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