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Cuba did not create situation around More Doctors program in Brazil

MINREX's Director of Communications Yaira Jiménez Roig. File photo

MINREX's Director of Communications Yaira Jiménez Roig. File photo

Havana, December 6 (RHC)-- The Cuban Foreign Ministry (MINREX) issued a statement Wednesday, confirming that Cuba did not generate the current situation around the More Doctors program in Brazil, which forced the Caribbean state to end its participation in the health care initiative, launched in 2013 by then Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.

The statement, by MINREX's Director of Communications Yaira Jiménez Roig, was released on the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as on Cuban television.

The MINREX official said: “First of all, I would like to reiterate that Cuba did not create the present situation. The decision adopted by our country not to continue participating in the “More Doctors” program was a painful but necessary decision, for it is Cuba’s responsibility and priority to ensure the physical integrity and personal safety of its cooperation workers wherever they might be.

She continued: “The irresponsible attitude and the political manipulation of this issue by Jair Bolsonaro, the president-elect of Brazil, forced Cuba to take a decision that, most certainly, will affect millions of Brazilian families, particularly low-income families, who live in the poorest and remote areas, in the communities with less resources --those who do not make headlines in the mainstream media and are hardly taken into account when it comes to political interests.”

On behalf of the Cuban government and people, the MINREX official expressed solidarity with those Brazilian families.  She insisted that the current situation, which has led to the unfortunate circumstances that make it impossible for Cuba to continue its cooperation in Brazil, is the exclusive responsibility of the Brazilian government, which will take office next January 1st.

On November 14th last, Cuba's Health Ministry announced its decision to no longer participate in the More Doctors program, following threatening, disrespectful remarks by Bolsonaro, who said that upon taking office he would impose fresh conditions on the program, including forcing the participating Cuban health professionals to re-validate their diploma as medical practitioners and hiring each and every one of them individually, thus contravening the agreement reached between the governments of Cuba and Brazil through the Pan American Health Organization that gave birth to the landmark program, which has been acknowledged internationally as an excellent example of south-south cooperation.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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