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In defense of our doctors / 14ymedio, Eliecer Avila
Posted on April 24, 2015

14ymedio, Eliecer Avila, 23 April 2015 — Last night while watching the
images of the homecoming of the doctors who participated in the fight
against Ebola in Africa I was very excited. I believe that every man or
woman in the world who decides to run these risks to save the lives of
unknown human beings thousands of miles away deserves total respect and
admiration. In my own family there are examples of this.

They are completely mistaken, however, those who think that, because of
having different ideas, wanting Internet for everyone, along with real
wages and basic freedoms, the opposition is against this solidarity or
doesn’t recognize the courage and heroism of our physicians. Nothing is
further from the truth.

On the contrary, if we could attend a democratic parliament many of us
would fight the whole time in favor of better living conditions and of
working for them. I believe that in the same way it is legitimate to
share material and human resources with those with the greatest need,
and it is also legitimate to wage serious debate in our country about
wages, security, and the role of the State in general, with respect to
Cubans who participate in these foreign missions. Many of them have
written several letters telling us of their experiences, with their
lights and shadows.

On the other hand, the fundamental problem of the income of Cuban
professionals in the country persists. And this extends to all sectors
and goes directly against what should be the primary objective, that is
adequate attention to our own people.

The doctor who cares for families in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra
in Cuba, has the same right to progress in life as the one who operates
at the Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery in Havana’s
Vedado neighborhood, as the one who works outside the country. All of
them sacrifice equally, and the cost of this sacrifice, which extends to
their families who are affected at all levels, should be studied,
publicized and discussed.

I know clinical specialists and surgeons who don’t even have a bicycle
to get to work and who serve interminable shifts with a snack that may
be nothing more than plantains and a glass of sugar water. I also know
guys who spend a month on an optometry course, leave on a mission, and
on returning to Cuba are able to give their professor a ride in their
own car. And what is wrong is not the latter, but the first.

In any case, I am not trying to fully address this issue in one article.
So I return to the original idea, which is nothing more than to
congratulate from the depths of my heart the doctors, nurses and support
staff who returned home yesterday. I want to reiterate that they will
always have an ally in us. The fight for democracy is also the fight for
life, for peace and for people’s material and spiritual happiness,
without which health is impossible.

Source: In defense of our doctors / 14ymedio, Eliecer Avila |
Translating Cuba –

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