Cuba's "Doctors Without Freedom"

Monday, September 15, 2014
Perennially searching for a headline, the Castro regime mounted a press conference last week at the World Health Organization (WHO), to announce it was sending a team of health specialists to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa.

Cuba's Minister of Public Health, Roberto Morales Ojeda, was recently named president of the WHO's World Heath Assembly -- hence becoming a convenient propaganda platform for the Castro regime.

Consequently, the weekend's headlines exaggerated, "Cuba sending hundreds of doctors to fight Ebola."

What the Castro regime is actually sending (in its own words) is, "100 nurses, 50 doctors, 3 epidemiologists, 3 intensive care specialists, 3 infection control specialist nurses and 5 social mobilization officers."

(The latter being the secret police officials tasked with keeping tabs on the health specialists, holding their passports and preventing defections. And yes, Cubans have defected in some of the most inhospitable places in the world. Moreover, if Cubans are desperate enough to face the perils of sharks in the Florida Straits, they will face the perils of Ebola, if an opportunity to escape arises.)

Why haven't any of the media outlets or propagandists praising the Castro's regime "medical diplomacy" asked any of these Cuban health specialists what they think?

Because they can't.  These health specialist are "captive labor" of Castro's regime -- they have no voice, choice or opinion.

Where's the praise for the hundreds -- if not thousands -- of American doctors who have volunteered with NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders, Samaritans Purse, CARE International, SIM USA, et al?

Have we already forgotten about the American doctors who contracted Ebola and nearly died helping fight the deadly virus in West Africa?

These American doctors volunteer their time, and sacrifice their own resources and comfortable lifestyles to help those in need. They are not compelled by a dictatorship for profit or propaganda.

Where's the praise for the $250 million the United States has already committed in equipment, treatments and personnel to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa through its Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)?

Or the additional $500 million the Pentagon has asked Congress (for that's how democracies work) to set up field hospitals in the region, provide equipment, transportation and security for international health workers?

And where are the Cuban NGOs?

Oh, that's right, Cuba is a totalitarian dictatorship, where only governmental entities are permitted -- NGOs (non-governmental organizations) are prohibited.

Cubans are some of the most charitable people in the world. There's no doubt that if the Cuban people were free, and able to create and participate in NGOs, they'd be among the first to volunteer. We see it in the diaspora daily.

But praising the Castro regime for its brand of "Doctors Without Freedom", which it only dispatches for its own profit (to places like Venezuela, Brazil and Qatar) or propaganda (to West Africa), is irresponsible and insincere.