HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 2 – The Cuban authorities ordered the immediate withdrawal of the medical personnel and equipment for Operation Miracle in Panama, according to a communiqué by the island’s embassy in the Central American country.
The decision comes in response to the closing of the bilateral agreement signed in 2006, which has not been renewed by President Ricardo Martinelli. Up to now that free ophthalmologic care program had benefited close to 50,000 persons who had their vision restored or improved.
The new Panamanian government decided to launch its “20-20 Vision” program and says it no longer needs the Cuban assistance.
Cuba meanwhile lamented the departure and in the embassy note said: “Time will tell if it is true that those interested in the abrupt ending to the Cuban medical cooperation in Panama… will be able to guarantee the services to the public and private sectors.”