Cuban Doctors who Fought Covid-19 in Italy Return as Heroes

The return of a Cuban medical brigade after working in Italy.  Photo: Ismael Francisco / Cubadebate

HAVANA TIMES – Cuban doctors returning from a mission to treat coronavirus patients in Italy were welcomed home with a personal message from the country’s president and cheers from the public on Monday, reported dpa news.

The 36 doctors and 15 nurses spent two months in the hard-hit Lombardy region and treated 516 patients, according to the Cuban health ministry.

Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel welcomed the returnees by video link on Monday, which doctors followed on a screen at the airport in capital city Havana.

“You represent the victory of the socialist ideal over the myth of the market,” he said.

People welcoming the brigade home. Photo: Ismael Francisco / Cubadebate

As they travelled on buses from the airport, they were cheered from balconies and sidewalks.

The doctors must now spend 14 days in quarantine in a clinic. Another team of Cuban doctors is still working in the Italian city of Turin.

Cuba sent 34 medical teams to 27 countries as support in the fight against coronavirus, according to official information.

Even before the pandemic, sending doctors and nurses abroad was one of the socialist country’s most important sources of income.

10 thoughts on “Cuban Doctors who Fought Covid-19 in Italy Return as Heroes

  • To be sure, those that choose to compare the arms exports of the United States to the indentured servitude of Cuban doctors and nurses for the benefit of the dictatorship should consider this: the only reason this is a viable business for the regime is largely owed to the pathetically low salaries paid to medical staff in Cuba. Its not hard to recruit volunteers who earn an average of less than $50 per month in Cuba. Brigade workers, if their lucky can earn up to $1000 per month working abroad. Meanwhile, the Castro regime will bill their medical staff out at more than $4000 per month. Sycophants see altruism. I see capitalism.

  • The food supply chain is like most modern industries, complicated. Obviously, most of the basic ingredients for their Seville orange marmalade are imported – just as they were for Mrs. Keiller’s “Dundee Orange Marmalade”, made in Scotland. But the actual levels of agricultural production plus flowers, in the Netherlands are quite remarkable – a visit to any of the auctions verifies that. Most of their extensive range of vegetable products – including those sent to Cuba, are home grown.
    Another interesting facet related in particular to food processing, is the manufacture of very specialized machinery – only Denmark offers any real competition. The market for such machinery stretches world wide and I have introduced clients from both the US and Canada to a company in Venlo – which coincidentally is a popular source of drugs for Dusseldorf in Germany. The Dutch are meticulous and their tiny country, its planning and attraction (It would fit thirteen times into the Canadian province where I am currently) is of great credit to them. The population density is remarkable – over 17 million.
    On a political note however, I am aware that it was the Dutch Reform Church which preached that the Whites are the sons of Abel and the Blacks are the sons of Cain. Apartheid in South Africa being a consequence. The main Church of that order in downtown Capetown is right next door to the original slave house. That is the very ugly part of Dutch heritage. It is only in recent years that preaching that view about Abel and Cain was abandoned.
    Mention of Dusseldorf reminds me of a plaque I saw on the coast of Namibia. it commemorated a landing made some 4,750 years following the creation of the world!

  • So I wonder when Cuba is going to send a “medical brigade” to Yemen. Yemen is after all, supported by Iran which is an amigo of the Castro regime.

  • Mr MacD,
    You have more knowledge than I regarding agriculture and food production.
    You mention Holland.
    Holland is a big producer (particularly given it’s relatively small landmass) but a big chunk of it’s food exports are previously imported are they not?
    In other words, it acts in some way as a sort of ‘middle-man’ nation?
    Isn’t this the reason it is in second place for food/agricultural exports?

  • My understanding is that Cuba in some instances, charges for the export of expert healthcare. In other instances it doesn’t. Italy, a relatively wealthy country, is an example of a country that will be charged for this export. I don’t quite understand why anyone is suggesting that this charge is some kind of secret. Apparently poorer countries are not charged.
    There is no suggestion from me that such arrangements are perfect or flawless (for example why should a wealthy country such as Italy need to import healthcare ?).

    Whatever the deal, I would repeat my basic point that in the big, bad old world that we live in it is surely preferable that countries export healthcare rather than export lethal weaponry?

    Perhaps there are those who think the export of weaponry is preferable??

    Each to their own I guess.

  • Cuba has to be grateful that the US exports food. The US is the largest food exporter in the world with tiny Holland – which is smaller than Cuba, lying second. In addition to food, those countries also export beer to Cuba which despite demand appears unable to increase production of food or beer.
    The unmentioned purpose of Cuban medical services to other countries, is the promotion of communism. Medical students in Cuba have to attend compulsory indoctrination classes in Marx/Engels/Lenin.

  • A regime calling itself democracy and even ‘THE example of western democratic civilisation’, is at this very moment being hijacked by a lunatic thanks to this countries fantastic democratic procedures. Until now they aren´t able to get rid of the guy beacuase of their (again) marvellous constitution. In better times this country has been governed mostly by huge international companies, the intereses of the super-rich beautiful-people and the constitutional-guaranteed private-weapons-industrie and not to forget the in fact state-run arms-industry-and-trade. As perfection doesn´t exist, it´s just what you choose to strive for. For me, exporting medicare isn´t that bad huh!

  • Nick, the problem is that the Cuban dictatorship did not tell the world that those slaves in in white uniforms. Get paid a lot of money and the Regime take 75% The bloody Cuban’s regime is selling this as act of kindness and solidarity.

  • Some countries export guns, weaponry, bombs, warplanes, even torture devices.
    Cuba exports expert healthcare.
    The latter export ain’t perfect. But it’s surely preferable to the former.

  • I wonder how deeply President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez embedded his tongue into his cheek when he said:

    “You represent the victory of the socialist ideal over the myth of the market.”?

    The regime of which although Diaz-Canel is dubbed President, is controlled by Raul Castro Ruz, will not disclose the financial benefits which accrued from the medical services provided. How much did they benefit from the “myth of the market”?

    Just think of the revenue which accrued from 34 medical teams providing services to 27 countries, when for example the charge made annually per Doctor is up to $55,000.

    If GAESA does not represent “the myth of the market”, what is its purpose?

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