Category Archives: Healthcare in Cuba

The Sorry Tale Of Cuban Communism

By Dan Mitchell

Before communism arrived in Cuba, it was one of the most prosperous societies of the Americas. Now, its economy and society are both severely crippled by it.

Communism should be remembered first and foremost for the death, brutality, and repression that occurred whenever that evil system was imposed upon a nation.

Dictators like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, the North Korean Kim dynasty either killed more than Hitler, or butchered higher proportions of their populations.

But let’s not forget that communism also has an awful economic legacy. The economic breakdown of the Soviet Empire. The horrid deprivation in North Korea. The giant gap that existed between West Germany and East Germany. The mass poverty in China before partial liberalisation.

Today, let’s focus on how communism has severely crippled the Cuban economy.

In a column for Reason, a few years ago, Steven Chapman accurately summarised the problems in that long-suffering nation.

“There may yet be admirers of Cuban communism in certain precincts of Berkeley or Cambridge, but it’s hard to find them in Havana. The average Cuban makes only about $20 a month— which is a bit spartan even if you add in free housing, food, and medical care. For that matter, the free stuff is not so easy to come by. Food shortages are frequent, the stock of adequate housing has shrunk, and hospital patients often have to bring their own sheets, food, and even medical supplies. Roger Noriega, a researcher at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, notes that before communism arrived, Cuba “was one of the most prosperous and egalitarian societies of the Americas.” His colleague Nicholas Eberstadt has documented that pre-Castro Cuba had a high rate of literacy and a life expectancy surpassing that in Spain, Greece, and Portugal. Instead of accelerating development, Castro has hindered it. In 1980, living standards in Chile were double those in Cuba. Thanks to bold free-market reforms implemented in Chile but not Cuba, the average Chilean’s income now appears to be four times higher than the average Cuban’s. In its latest annual report, Human Rights Watch says, “Cuba remains the one country in Latin America that represses virtually all forms of political dissent.”

The comparison between Chile and Cuba is especially apt since the pro-market reforms in the South American nation came after a coup against a Marxist government that severely weakened the Chilean economy.

Chapman points out that the standard leftist excuse for Cuban misery— the U.S. trade embargo— isn’t very legitimate.

“The regime prefers to blame any problems on the Yankee imperialists, who have enforced an economic embargo for decades. In fact, its effect on the Cuban economy is modest, since Cuba trades freely with the rest of the world.”

Since the U.S. accounts for nearly one-fourth of world economic output, I’m open to the hypothesis that the negative impact on Cuba is more than “modest.”

Continue reading The Sorry Tale Of Cuban Communism

British tourist denied ‘last goodbye’ with dead wife in £20k Cuba medical bill row

Sheila Dumbleton with husband Ray
Sheila Dumbleton with husband Ray

Birmingham Mail

En español Marti Noticias

Widower talks for first time of ‘hell’ at losing Sheila Dumbleton during dream holiday on paradise isle

A grief-stricken pensioner said his wife was “left to die” in a Cuban hospital – because they could not pay a £20,000 medical bill.

Ray Dumbleton said he was even banned from saying a last goodbye to his beloved Sheila, his soulmate of 34 years, as her body lay alone .

The 67-year-old, from Frankley , said his ordeal was like “hell on Earth”.

He said: “If you think of a World War Two scene, then that might just start to come close.”

Sheila died in hospital in Holguin, Cuba, after falling ill on the sixth day of what had been planned as the couple’s ‘dream holiday’.

Despite taking out ‘gold cover’ travel insurance, she was unable to claim for her medical treatment and was left with a £20,000 medical bill.

Now, her distraught family have been ordered to settle her medical bill to pay and must also find an extra £7,000 to bring Sheila’s body home.

“It felt that, as soon as the hospital knew we couldn’t pay, they left her to deteriorate,” Ray said.

“All the doctors kept saying to us was ‘payment, payment’ but we didn’t have the money to give them.

“The conditions in that hospital were horrendous – something I find hard to put into words. There were dead bodies left uncovered. It was as if they didn’t care about people’s dignity. They wouldn’t even allow me to see my wife’s body and pay my last respects to her. They just kept saying it was Cuban law. I will never get that chance again. They have broken my heart, I kept saying: ‘Forget Cuban law, I want to see my wife’. But they would not allow me that last moment with her. I felt powerless over there. At one point they even threatened to put me into prison if I carried on demanding to see her. As soon as Sheila died, it felt like they couldn’t get me out of the country quickly enough. It was like nothing I had ever seen before – I was treated like a VIP, ushered straight through customs and there were no security checks. Now, I am glad to be back home but I will cannot rest until Sheila is back here with her family. The only saving grace was that I did meet some lovely people out there and without them, I probably would not have got through this ordeal.”

A spokesman for White Horse Insurance Ireland, with whom the couple had travel insurance, said: “We were very sorry to hear of Mrs Dumbleton’s circumstances. Regrettably, as Mrs Dumbleton’s medical history was not disclosed, her claim was not covered by her insurance policy.”

Relatives launched a fundraising drive when they discovered Sheila had fallen ill and would be unable to claim on her insurance.

A GoFund me campaign was launched to pay the medical bill and bring her home alive – but she died before the target could be reached.

“We have raised more than £4,000 already, so if it’s just the £7,000 then we could probably do it,” said daughter Erica McCleary.

“But we still don’t know if they will allow us to bring Mum home without paying the medical bill. I cannot begin to say how generous and kind people have been after reading about our story. We have had complete strangers offering us large amounts of money. One person even offered us their life savings just so that we can get Mum’s body home. We just want Mum home with us so we are able to grieve properly, as a family. It’s good to finally have Ray home with us after him being stuck out there for a month but we need to be allowed to grieve properly. This whole process has been a nightmare and it’s still not over. We managed to go out and see Mum when she first fell ill but we were not allowed much time with her. and we didn’t really feel like she was being cared for properly.”

Sheila became a great-grandmother while she was in Cuba but never got to meet her first great grandchild.

Cuba’s Healthcare Scam

The Lab Believe it or not, this is the Laboratory! Gracias Fidel!
The Blaze, by Humberto Fontova

“Cuba has made significant contributions to health and science,” recently declared Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

The occasion was the signing of a “memorandum of understanding to encourage cooperation between the two countries on health matters to build on each other’s knowledge and experience, and benefit biomedical research and public health at large.”

Tell it to Tuvalu, President Barack Obama and Secretary Burwell. Tuvalu is a group of Pacific islands north of Fiji formerly belonging to Britain when known as the “Ellice Islands.” The natives seem like perfectly charming people.

But despite its charm, Tuvalu is not known as a particularly advanced place scientifically-speaking–and yet its natives recently gasped while witnessing the medical practices of a place even more primitive in its medical practices: Cuba.

“Cuba’s contribution to medical education in the region has been welcomed by many Pacific countries,” according to a recent story from Radio Australia (the Aussie version of NPR, hence liberal in outlook.) “But some are finding that doctors who’ve studied in Cuba need extra training when they return home. Tuvalu finds Cuban-trained doctors need skills gap filled.”

Back in 2008, you see, Tuvalu fell for the Castro-regime/United Nations/mainstream media propaganda mantra about Cuba’s “free and fabulous healthcare” and eagerly sent 22 promising Tuvaluan students to medical school in Cuba.

But upon their return with those medical degrees, as Radio Australia explains:

“the [Tuvaluan] government is concerned about their level of practical training … So the Education Department is planning to send returning [from Cuba] Tuvalu doctors to Kiribati [a nearby primitive island] for a special internship, as the department’s pre-service training officer Atabi Ewekia explains.”

In brief, the incompetence of Cuba-trained doctors is such that they will be essentially “de-programmed” in a medical school where, a mere two generations ago, medicine was probably the province of witch-doctors with bones through their noses.

And, thanks to Obama, the U.S. taxpayer will soon pay for the Cuban trainers of those Cuban doctors who so desperately needed de-programming to share their “significant contributions to health and science” with U.S. health professionals and researchers.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, pre-Castro Cuba boasted the 13th lowest infant-mortality on earth –ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

Castro’s Cuba, on the other hand, is ravaged by diseases long-eradicated in Cuba (Dengue, Cholera) and of her “doctors” fortunate enough to escape, the overwhelmingly majority flunk the exam given in the U.S. for licensing as doctor’s assistants.”

So let’s have a closer look at one of the U.S. media’s favorite veritable “go-to-people” on Cuban healthcare (besides Michael Moore) Gail Reed. The Huffington Post proudly carries her as a contributor and recently quoted her on the very issue at hand:

“This [the HHS-Cuba deal] is a win-win for Americans and Cubans! We’re now one step closer to a safer, healthier future for people in both countries.”

Huffington Post describes Gail Reed as “Founder of Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba, a U.S. non-profit promoting cooperation among the U.S., Cuban and global health communities, where she is currently Research Director.”

Sounds pretty innocuous, no?

But for the past 35 years Havana resident Gail Reed has also been married to an officer of Cuba’s Directorio General de Intelligencia (spy service) named Julian Torres Rizo.

This KGB-trained apparatchik recruited Reed back in 1969 when she visited Cuba as a member of the (DGI-created) Venceremos Brigades of “starry-eyed” U.S. college kids. Obama’s future “neighbors” Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, by the way, served as recruiters for these Venceremos Brigades. This was an important function for the famous couple as leaders of the terrorist Weather Underground.

Not that any American viewers imbibing her reports on the marvels of Cuba’s healthcare and the wickedness of the U.S. “blockade” of her adopted country in those “mainstream” media organs might have guessed any of Gail Reed’s background.

Cuba’s Healthcare System Is A Shambles, Why Are We Partnering With Them?

F b3

The Daily Caller, by Humberto Fontova

Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services signed a healthcare cooperation deal with Castro-regime because: “Cuba has made significant contributions to health and science.”

Or so HHS secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said on Monday in a statement. “This new collaboration is a historic opportunity for two nations to build on each other’s knowledge and experience, and benefit biomedical research and public health at large,” she added.

Tell that to Tuvalu, President Obama and Secretary Mathews-Burwell. Tuvalu is a group of Pacific islands (big atolls, actually) north of Fiji and east of New Guinea formerly belonging to Britain, when they were known as the “Ellice Islands.” Tuvalu is not known as a particularly advanced place scientifically-speaking — and yet its natives recently gasped while witnessing the medical practices of a place even more primitive in its medical practices: Cuba.

“Cuba’s contribution to medical education in the region has been welcomed by many Pacific countries,” according to a recent story from Radio Australia (the Aussie version of NPR, hence pinko in outlook). “But some are finding that doctors who’ve studied in Cuba need extra training when they return home.”

Back in 2008, Tuvalu fell for Castro-regime/United Nations/Mainstream Media propaganda mantra about Cuba’s free and fabulous healthcare and eagerly sent 22 promising Tuvaluan students to medical school in Cuba.

But upon their return with those medical degrees—whoops! Radio Australia explains the problem:

“The (Tuvaluan) government is concerned about their level of practical training … So the Education Department is planning to send the returning (from Cuba) Tuvalu doctors to Kiribati (a nearby primitive island) for a special internship, as the department’s pre-service training officer Atabi Ewekia explains.”

In brief, the incompetence of Cuba-trained doctors is such that they will be essentially “de-programmed” in a medical school where two generations ago medicine was probably the province of witch-doctors with bones through their noses.

Now thanks to Obama, the U.S. taxpayer will pay for the Cuban trainers of those Cuban doctors who so desperately needed de-programming to share their “significant contributions to health and science” with U.S. health professionals and researchers.

Two generations ago, by the way, Cuban doctors were among the most respected on earth — and not by political hacks, pompous frauds and communist agents (i.e. mainstream media) as are Cuban doctors today.

In 1958 Cuba had the 13th lowest infant-mortality on earth –– ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Castro’s Cuba, on the other hand, is ravaged by diseases long-eradicated in Cuba (Dengue, Cholera) and of her “doctors” fortunate enough to escape the overwhelmingly majority flunk the exam given in the U.S. for licensing as doctor’s assistants.

The U.S. media’s veritable “go-to-person” on Cuban healthcare (besides Michael Moore) is Gail Reed. The Huffington Post proudly carries Reed as a contributor and recently quoted her on the very issue at hand:

“This (the HHS-Cuba deal) is a win-win for Americans and Cubans!” gushes Reed. “We’re now one step closer to a safer, healthier future for people in both countries.” The Huffpo describes Gail Reed as: “Founder of Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba, a U.S. non-profit promoting cooperation among the U.S., Cuban and global health communities, where she is currently Research Director.”

CNN, another media fan of Gail Reed’s “impartial expertise,” calls her “a Medical Expert.”

Over at MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell, who often interviews Reed, describes her as: “international director of the nonprofit group Medical Education Cooperation.”

All true. But for the past 34 years Havana resident Gail Reed has also been married to an officer of Cuba’s KGB-founded-funded and mentored Directorio General de Intelligencia named Julian Torres Rizo. The partnership of this future Huffington Post, CNN, NBC and Business Week correspondent with Castro’s secret police began in 1969 when as a member of the (DGI-created) Venceremos Brigades, Reed began visiting Cuba alongside Bill Ayers’ concubine Bernadine Dohrn.