HAVANA TIMES — South African Medical Students in the central Cuban province of Villa Clara, have been asked by officials in Pretoria to end their strike over stipends and to return to classes, reports the Café Fuerte website.
Aaron Motsoaled, South African Health Minister, wrote to the 187 students to inform them that his department does not have the money to meet their demand for an increase of their monthly stipends to $700.
According to the note, the governments of South Africa and Cuba pay the students $200 per month (ten times the average wage of a Cuban worker).
The student protests began on February 7 when students presented their demands and began boycotting classes. Some went on hunger strike to protest repetitive diets based on pork. Apparently some students also tried to enter the South African embassy in Havana.
In 2010, a similar protest by Pakistani students was snuffed out by riot police in the western Cuban province of Matanzas.