[Homestead] Castro and Chavez continue the Cuban attitudes and programs of effective, economical healthcare

tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Sat Feb 5 08:55:50 EST 2005

It is preposterous but unfortunately true that impoverished Cuba, and 
temporarily oil-rich Venezuela can provide more bang for the medical 
buck than the U.S.

The Cubans grCastro and the Cubans that didn't, both share a common 
belief that health is their most important possession.
Cubans in Florida brought with them the dual concepts that they should 
pay their health organizations to keep them healthy as well as provide 
surgical intervention, and that both be affordable---concepts totally 
foreign to the U.S. healthcare system.


      The "Miracle" of Cuba; Chavez Proposed for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize

Carlos Herrera
Vheadline.com (English-language)
Caracas, Venezuela
January 25, 2005

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez waves to the crowd during a political 
rally in Caracas on January 23, 2005. (Victor Johnson / AFP-Getty Images)

It was a normal quiet evening in the Rosales household in the barrio El 
Canton in Venezuela's main port of La Guaira on the Caribbean coast. Mr. 
Gregorio Rosales Mujica was watching the baseball game between the 
Aragua Tigers visiting the Caracas Lions, which turned out to be one of 
the most electrifying and tense encounters of the season.

Mr. Rosales could not see the game perfectly due to his vision problems 
and suddenly, at precisely 10:00 p.m., during the sixth inning, the 
phone rang.

It was a voice that Mr. Rosales did not recognize and he was informed 
that the next day he should present himself at Simon Bolivar 
International airport, just down the road from where he lives, since he 
was being sent to Colombia.

Rather puzzled, Mr. Rosales hung up the phone and told his daughter, 
Ingrid, that some one from the government or the Health Ministry has 
called telling him that he was being sent to Colombia the following day 
on a Cuban Airlines flight. Bearing in mind that Mr. Rosales was born on 
the island of Margarita, in the state of Nueva Esparta, 84 years ago, 
his daughter, Ingrid, realized that her father had somehow mistaken 
"Colombia" for "Cuba" and that the call was to confirm that Mr. Rosales 
would go to Cuba the next day for eye surgery in the context of Mission 
Miracle (Mision Milagros), accompanied by his daughter.

Mission Miracle is one of the many humanitarian projects set up between 
Caracas and Havana to benefit the historically excluded and downtrodden 
in Venezuelan society, who could not afford medical treatment in the 
Venezuelan jungle of corrupt hospitals and the private mercantilist 
(mercenary?) system. In some cases, the medical treatment required was 
not available in Venezuela. Mission Miracle concentrates exclusively on 
restoring lost vision and tackles all type of ocular problems by sending 
the patients and an accompanying family member to Cuba for the 
corresponding treatment.

In the case of Mr. Rosales, he had been visited at his home in Calle 
Soublette, Sector El Canton, La Guaira in December by his local Cuban 
doctor working in the "Barrio Adentro" (Into the Neighborhood) primary 
health care program. It was the first time in his 84 years that Mr. 
Rosales recalled a doctor ever being in his home and it was a result of 
this visit and examination that the phone rang during the sixth inning 
of the ball game, at 10:00 p.m. on Jan. 18.

There was great joy in the Rosales family that the response to send 
their father to Cuba had been so swift, considering that the 
consultation took place in mid December, and double joy for Mr. Rosales 
himself as his team, the Aragua Tigers, won the ball game after a "grand 
slam" by Miguel Cabrera in the 8th inning.

Ingrid Rosales phoned her brother, Ubaldo, to inform him of the good 
news. Ubaldo works in one of the National Identity Offices (Oni-Dex) in 
the center of the country. He knew from his own experience that patients 
due to go to Cuba for medical treatment were issued passports in the 
context of Mission Identity, as well as one family member, to facilitate 
a prompt departure to Cuba when the long awaited phone call arrived.

Since Dec. 10, his I.D. office had issued a total of 150 passports to 
Mission Miracle patients and their family members, as they obviously 
receive priority over normal tourist or business applications. Thus, 
Mission Identity works hand in glove with Mission Miracle for the 
benefit of those most in need.

The fact that Mr. Rosales is 84 years old and has been sent so promptly 
to Cuba to solve his sight problem and improve his quality of life is 
just one small example of the non-discriminatory, humanistic quality of 
the social revolution taking place in Venezuela.

To be blunt, with his 84 years of accumulated youth, Mr. Rosales would 
have simply been thrown "on the scrapheap" even back in 1998, or at any 
time before President Chavez was democratically elected in his now 
legendary nine consecutive landslide electoral and referendum victories.

Ubaldo commented to me that my article on President Chavez being 
nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize really hit the nail on the 
head, when analyzing the humanistic missions being spread throughout 
Venezuela. He also said in an even more telling tone, that it is 
precisely due to social programs such as Mission Miracle, that the march 
on Jan. 23 will be an overwhelming success in support of President 
Chavez and in defense of national sovereignty.

It is an odds on bet, that the whole of the Rosales family will be 
marching in Caracas next Sunday, as will be thousands upon thousands 
whose lives have been touched by the Bolivarian Social Revolution.

      Chavez Proposed for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize

Last November on Venezuelan National Radio (RNV) I learned that there 
are moves afoot to propose President of the Bolivarian Republic of 
Venezuela, Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias as a leading candidate for the 2005 
Nobel Peace Prize.

For many people throughout the world whose information about Chavez is 
conditioned by mainstream news media, the immediate reaction to this 
news could be: "How could a 'firebrand' like Chavez ever be considered 
for such an internationally prestigious award?"

I can already imagine the radical opposition thinking this and cannot 
believe that such a thing could conceivably happen. The next stage will 
be gnashing of teeth and frothing at the mouth!

Readers will recall that, two years ago Chavez won the "Man of the Year 
Award" in an internet vote run by bbcmundo.com against all comers ... 
including George W. Bush.

The reaction in 2002 by opposition figures was to send thousands of   
insulting and threatening e-mails to bbcmundo.com, accusing the BBC of 
rigging the outcome, and alleging ... without any evidence ... that the 
Venezuelan government had "paid" for the results.

This was just a non-scientific poll on the internet and not something as 
prestigious as the Nobel Peace Prize ... so why is Chavez a candidate 
and likely winner of the Nobel Peace Prize?

Looking at the Nobel Web site I see that the 2004 winner, Wangari 
Maathai of Kenya, was awarded the prize "for her contribution to 
sustainable development, democracy and peace."

If these three qualities are key to winning the Nobel Peace Prize then 
Chavez has all these in abundance and more ... he must be the world's 
leading democrat having been to the polls nine times since 1998 ... he 
promotes peace by asking for troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, so that 
these sovereign nations can exercise self-determination and define their 
own path in the future.

Sustainable and endogenous development is one of the corner stones of 
the Bolivarian revolution -- thus alleviating poverty medium to long term.

Other accomplishments which have been pushed by Chavez' personal 
leadership in Venezuela are the Social Missions, all grouped under the 
humanitarian banner of Mission Christ.

The primary ones are:

Mission Robinson -- teaching more than 1.3 million people to read and 
write in the space of 16 months, a world record in this field.

Mission Ribas -- secondary education for just over 1 million people so 
far, who were denied this basic human right during the 4th Republic.

Mission Barrio Adentro (Into the Nieghborhood) -- to provide free 
primary health care for more than 10 million people up to now, and who 
did not have access to health care in the past -- unless they paid for it.

Mission Simoncito -- care and education for pregnant mothers and their 
children from gestation to kindergarten, to ensure a healthy start to life.

Bolivarian Schools -- integral schooling including free health care and 
meals, with the objective of inculcating patriotic, humanitarian values 
in the upcoming generations.

There may be other accomplishments I have omitted to mention, and am 
certain that opposition spokesmen will try to shoot down all these 
accomplishments in the usual manipulative format and with their 
well-known semantic bile. However, it does not matter what they think 
... but what the Nobel Foundation in Oslo considers to be true and of 
real value to human development and peace.

The reaction of the United States and especially that of Condoleezza 
Rice will be interesting to observe. Let us hope that the Nobel 
Foundation with its 105-year history will have the courage and 
independence of thought to consider President Chavez for this world 
shattering accolade, without outside interference.

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