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Bolsonaro’s decision

Bolsonaro’s decision

Bolsonaro’s decision
November 21
10:07 2018

Jesus Sanchez Melean

I have a hard time having to agree with the eccentric president-elect of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. This man praises the bloody actions the army took in the 60s and 70s in Brazil when they oversaw the country’s government. My impression is that Bolsonaro’s ideas were archaic and outdated. When I read his political platform, I came to think he was a dusty archeological piece extracted from the famous Museu Paulista of the University of São Paulo.

Bolsonaro has positively surprised me by denouncing in simple words that the Cuban regime applies a modern slavery system. It is very common to hear those who criticize globalization preach that the labor regime being used in Ciudad Juarez resembles slavery. These liberal critics also criticize the long working hours and the precarious working conditions at Chinese factories, which makes their workers into slaves.

These critics even promote to revise commercial treaties between Mexico, China and other countries for those exploitative practices against workers. However, those same critics have silenced what now Bolsonaro is denouncing. It was unpleasant for me to read that officials of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) congratulated Cuba and Brazil in 2016 for renewing the plan “Mais Medicos” (More Doctors), that had begun in 2013. That plan is based on the slavery of Cuban doctors.

Bolsonaro, who will become president of Brazil on January 1st, 2019, is proposing to make changes, reasonable and ethical, to the program “Mais Medicos”. The new president wants the 8,500 Cuban doctors who work in Brazil to receive directly the $3,300 per month that Brazil pays for each of them. So far, the Cuban government keeps about 75% of that money. And out of the $990 that the doctors should receive, they only see half of that in cash.

Bolsonaro criticizes that Cuba doesn’t allow the doctor’s families to travel with them to Brazil through their stay there. The families remain sequestered on the island. They become hostages of the government to prevent the doctors from deserting or filing for political asylum on the country where they work. These doctors are precluded from establishing relationships with nationals and are not able to freely move inside Brazil. These doctors are surveilled by officials of the Cuban government.

Bolsonaro also wants the doctors to pass a test to revalidate their diplomas. This is a requisite that every foreign doctor is subject to in Brazil, except for those who come from Cuba. The program “Mais Medicos”, that was conceived to provide health care to rural areas of the vast Brazilian territory, was pretty much a gift that Lula Da Silva and Dilma Rouseff gave to their beloved Castro brothers. It was a 300-million-dollar gift in exchange for the Cuban doctors.

The Brazilian Medical Association (AMB) has consistently criticized the fact that local doctors in Brazil don’t get paid the $3,300 that Cuban doctors supposedly get. Lincoln Lopes Ferreira, president of AMB, hopes the new government will provide the opportunity for Brazilian doctors to be part of the “Mais Medicos” program, with convenient work conditions and a fair salary. However, Bolsonaro is offering the Cuban doctors the possibility of staying in the country to work freely without being tied to the Cuban regime.

Cuba has said they will withdraw from the “Mais Medicos” program because they don’t accept the conditions Bolsonaro is trying to impose. The Cuban regime has already found new customers to continue to make money exploiting their human capital. The island will send their doctors to the Middle East, Russia, China and Vietnam. President of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel closed those deals in a recent tour. And this is not a surprise. The Cuban regime gets along very well with other authoritarian governments.

I believe the end of the program with Cuban doctors is one of the best things that has happened to Brazil. The Cuban regime behaves like the ticks, that suck out the nutrients and give nothing. Cuba extracts from Venezuela, for no reason, amounts that tops 21,000 million dollars per year. The giant of the south has the resources and the ability to build a program of primary health care in their rural areas that can be efficient and provide employment to their own people. Good luck to Bolsonaro.

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Edición Virtual | #339 | 23 de mayo 2019

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