Ban Ki-Moon Visits Cuba’s ELAM Med School

Ban Ki-moon at Havana's Latin American School of Medicine on Jan. 28. 2014.
Ban Ki-moon at Havana’s Latin American School of Medicine on Jan. 28. 2014.

HAVANA TIMES — UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon visited the Havana based Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) on Tuesday morning. More than 11,000 doctors from 123 nations have graduated at the center established at the end of the 1990s after Hurricane Mitch caused vast destruction and loss of life in Central America.

“Training doctors and consciousness is the mission of this school,” the ELAM rector told the UN general secretary. He noted that the school currently has 1015 students, although it has a classroom capacity for 4,000, reported Cubadebate.

Ban Ki-moon thanked Cuba for what he called “a great contribution to be in the main line of health in the world, and be at the forefront of South-South cooperation.” He added, “I have seen a common factor in various remote communities: Cuban doctors or  doctors trained in Cuba who are there helping to save lives.”

“Cuba has a long history of cooperation. Cuban doctors are the first to arrive and the last to leave. Cuba can teach the world about your health system based on primary care, with significant achievements as a low infant mortality, increased life expectancy and universal coverage,” said Ban.

“They were in Haiti facing the challenges of cholera, a disease that in the XXI century should not be a death sentence because it is preventable and curable. Cuban doctors have taken the lead in the effort, as in the Operation Miracle program that despite returning vision, has given us a new vision of the world of generosity and solidarity. We are all one, humans and brothers and sisters. Health has to stop being the privilege of a few to become right of many,” he said.

Ban Ki-moon is in Cuba as of Sunday to attend the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), taking place Tuesday and Wednesday in Havana.


4 thoughts on “Ban Ki-Moon Visits Cuba’s ELAM Med School

  • yes

  • “They were in Haiti facing the challenges of cholera, a disease that in the XXI century should not be a death sentence because it is preventable and curable.”

    Oh dear! Ban Kee Moon should know that cholera was introduced to Haiti by the UN mission. After all, the UN is being sued by Haiti for having brought the deadly disease to the island:

    “The cholera epidemic there has killed more than 8,300 people and sickened more than 650,000 since October 2010.

    “Haiti today has the worst cholera epidemic in the world,” said Miami attorney Ira Kurzban, who announced the lawsuit at a joint news conference with the human rights groups Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH).”

    “Before these events, Haiti did not know of cholera for 100 years. Cholera was brought to Haiti by U.N. troops,”

    It takes a special kind of insensitive arrogance for Ban to make such a comment.

  • Yesterday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivered remarks at an event orchestrated by the Castro regime for his “Unite to End Violence Against Women” campaign.

    It’s cynical enough that the Secretary General did this event in conjunction with the Castro regime, which routinely harasses, beats and imprisons peaceful female activists.

    Instead, he should have done this event with Cuba’s courageous female democracy and civil society leaders.

    But to add extra cynicism, Ban Ki-Moon stated:

    “Since [violence against women] is rooted in discrimination, impunity and complacency, we need to change attitudes and behavior – and we need to change laws and make sure they are enforced just like you are doing in Cuba.”

    The U.N. Secretary General is either ignorant (unlikely) or cynical (likely).

    On a weekly basis, the Castro regime launches violent attacks against Cuba’s Ladies in White, a peaceful, internationally-recognized, pro-democracy group composed of the wives, daughter and other relatives of current and former political prisoners.

  • Irrespective of Cuba’s shortcomings and imperfections, the world have seen first hand, what Cuba stands for. The supposedly impervious 50 year old wall of contention that was built around the nation and where Cuba was at the mercy of the transnationals media, have come crashing down, allowing the world to see what a small, poor nation under siege, is able to do for others.

    Trained in spartan conditions, deprived of modern instruments, updated facilities or the latest generation of medicine, medical supplies and disposable, Cuba have trained and placed at the service of humanity, tens of thousands of foreign and national physicians.

    How many sufferings have been mitigated and millions lives have been saved will never be known.

    What we have learned, is that the United States misguided and vindictive policies have harmed Cuba and millions of innocent people around the world.

    May CELAC gathering in Cuba enable its members to grasp the far reaching and endless possibilities of this incredible educational facility, by turning Cuba into the largest, best equipped medical and research center in the world, where every third world physician and researcher can teach and study every malady in the world, in what millions of doctors who are needed around the world, may call their Alma Mater.

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