Volunteers, Rights Group Battle For The Health of Cuban Freedom Fighters
Inefficient and wasteful style of governing by Communist Cuban regime led to the total collapse of healthcare system. Cuba is currently suffering one of the worst Wuhan virus outbreaks in the world, with confirmed cases over the past week ten times the global average.
Wheeling two trolleys piled high with medical supplies, Ms. Marilys Colarte waits at Madrid airport to take her precious cargo to Cuba, where vital medicines are running low.
Colarte is part of a growing international network of volunteers from the Cuban diaspora who have been transporting tonnes of aid to the Caribbean island in recent months.
Everyone has contributed a little bit of themselves, a bit of their love, stated Colarte, 52, before boarding the plane to Havana with 100 kilograms of supplies. I am so happy to bring medicine to my people who really need it, she added.
Despite the widespread praise in some circles for the so-called exemplary healthcare system in Cuba, the truth has been always clear. Communist fooled willing to be deceived Western socialists but the Cubans had never easy access to the doctor. Any patient had to pay for every medical procedure and some form of treatment were available only if the bribe was paid.
The Cuban regime largely blames U.S sanctions but the truth it is unimaginable corruption and the inefficient state-run economy. Last month the shortages, along with power outages and a lack of civil liberties, prompted rare mass street protests.
In that sense, the democratic world perceives all Cubans as freedom fighters, stated Dr. Jose Ricardo, a former US academician, exiled Cuban in the interview with The Owner.
We must take care for their well-being and feel ourselves responsible for them until they win their victory over Communism, he added.
"There is just nothing there"
At a church in Madrid, boxes piled high as volunteers sorted shipments donated by hospitals, pharmacies and individuals and bound for various Cuban provinces.
People send requests for medicine via online messenger, saying I have got a relative who needs this or that and they send us the prescription, said Massiel Rubio Hernandez, 37, an editor and organiser of the Madrid-based Ayuda Humanitaria Cubana (Cuban Humanitarian Help), one of the first organizations to coordinate relief.
Over the past three weeks, the organisation has sent a tonne of medicines and other aid that is then distributed by other volunteers.
"There is nothing there"
Under the pressure of the anti-Communist uprising Cuban allowed travellers to bring in medicine, food and sanitary products without paying import duties. In the two weeks following that move, travellers brought in 112 tonnes of such goods via Havana international airport, Cuban customs said.
Volunteers welcomed that move but said its impact was limited given the few flights operating to Cuba after the government restricted them due to the virua outbreak.
We mainly send antibiotics and drugs which combat Wuhan virus because there is just nothing there at the moment, said Ms. Hilda Landrove, a Cuban student who is part of another volunteer group based in Mexico City.
The biggest diaspora community is in Florida but we went from 50 flights per week from the United States to Cuba to three, said Florida-based volunteer Mr. Enrique Guzman Karell.
Those flights were booked up until next year, he said, meaning volunteers had to fly via Madrid, from where there were more flights – an “absurd, very expensive trip to deliver humanitarian aid”.