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Posted January 14, 2010 by publisher in Cuban Healthcare

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Prensa Latina

Members of the Henry Reeve Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics are in some Haitian localities to take care of the victims of the earthquake that took place on Tuesday.

The medical brigade, which has experience in China, Pakistan, Guatemala, Indonesia and Bolivia, joined the rest of the health staff that was located there, which is helping citizens since the beginning of the tragedy.

Cuban authorities sent medicines, saline solutions and blood serum, food and provisions as part of the solidarity aid.

More than one thousand patients were seen and 19 operations were carried out up until Wednesday afternoon, reported Cuban Television.

It also informed that Joel Melo, who works in the School of Accounting and Finances at Havana University and was getting his master’s degree there, is reported as seriously ill and Cuban doctors are taking care of him.

The 152 Cuban collaborators based in Puerto Principe, capital of Haiti, are in good conditions and only two of them suffered minor injuries.

Adalberto Bravo, Head of Education brigade, suffered a dislocation on his right knee and Alina Almeida, also from the same contingent, had a minor injury on her right leg.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez told Cuban Television that Cuba has 403 collaborators in that island and 344 of them are part of the Health sector.

Rodriguez informed that a second field hospital will be opened soon in Puerto Principe and probably a third too.


  1. Follow up post #1 added on January 14, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    In this commentary by Steve Clemons of the Washington Note, he comments how Cuba sends doctors around the world to help disaster victims and tells us why Cuba and the US should work together in Haiti.

    “Shortly afterwards, in October 2005, the Reeves Brigade was dispatched to help provide much-needed medical relief after the devastating Kashmir earthquake that tore through the Himalayan mountain region along Pakistan and Kashmir. The US and Europe each sent teams of doctors to Pakistan, each with one base camp deployed for a month. The Cubans deployed seven major base camps and 30 field hospitals in the fundamentalist Islamic region of Pakistan, a nation with whichCuba did not have diplomatic relations at the time. Today, the Cubans and Pakistanis have embassies in each other’s capitals.”

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on January 15, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Kudos to Cuba for their handling of the Haiti situation. Who knows, maybe this disaster will help to warm US Cuba relations.

    The U.S. government said it had received permission from Cuba to fly through restricted air space on medical evacuation flights.

    The authorization from the government of Cuba will cut 90 minutes from the flight from the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, the White House said.

    Cuba consulting services

  3. Follow up post #3 added on January 15, 2010 by Marek with 49 total posts

    The Reeves Brigade was formed out of the Katrina disaster in New Orleans, when Cuba offered to send medical teams (the U.S. refused to accept the help). Its work in Pakistan was exceptional. A byproduct of Cuba’s efforts to promote women’s advancement in medicine was the fact that about half of the Cuban team in Pakistan was female, which meant they could treat Pakistani muslim women, whereas the other countries’ medical teams had a far lower percentage of female physicians, leading to auto-exclusion by Pakistani women.

    Cuba has had medical teams (and agronomists, teachers, etc.) working in Haiti since the 1998 hurricane.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on January 16, 2010 by paul

    Typical marekon post. He could have just gotten his point across without having to bring up the U.S.

    Cuba also refused US help when they had their most recent hurricane. Should’ve brought that up lil bro.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on January 16, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts


    I have to go with Marek on this one. The Henry Reeve brigade of Cuban doctors deserves a lot of respect from what I can see.

    Here’s an update from their work so far in Haiti.

    As a side note Paul, no need to get into childish name calling by using Marek’s name as Marekon. Thanks.

    Cuba consulting services

  6. Follow up post #6 added on January 16, 2010 by paul

    Thanks for siding with that poster, pub. I didn’t say that that brigade doesn’t do good work, but rather that he slipped in his attack about the US…as usual.

    He uses that information to promote the typical things that communists focus on, which are detractors for everything else that the Cuban government is doing. When Cuba had it’s hurricane, we offered plenty of aid as well. Of course the Cuban government turned it down, and flipped the situation into something political and asked for the credit blockade to be dropped instead.

    And that wasn’t me being childish, it was me being rude.

  7. Follow up post #7 added on January 22, 2010 by Rita Ridge Gonzalez

    Hi there folks, i am in the process of setting up a cause on facebook that people can join and donate for the Henry Reeve international contingent, and keep up the good work the doctors are doing. This is because all the donars on the Haiti cause seem to have forgotten that the Cuban doctors in Haiti also need support like medication, equipment and food supplies! 

    If you have any ideas, comments or you would like me to link up my page with yours, please let me know,

    Rita Ridge Gonzalez

  8. Follow up post #8 added on January 22, 2010 by Marek with 49 total posts

    Just stating a fact, Paul. If that is perceived as an “attack” then I suggest you adjust your sensitivity filter.

    Rita, welcome and good idea. FYI there is an excellent mechanism already established to get funding and supplies directly to the Cuban doctors on the ground in Haiti. Visit http://www.medicc.org - MEDICC has been around since 1977, is known and respected for the excellent coverage it provides of all things relating to health care in Cuba. They have a secure online donation system in place. MEDICC and Global Links are both US-registered non-profit organizations. Global Links has its own Facebook page, linked off their homepage (http://www.globallinks.org)

  9. Follow up post #9 added on January 22, 2010 by Marek with 49 total posts

    (correction: MEDICC founded in 1997)

  10. Follow up post #10 added on January 22, 2010 by rushios with 1 total posts

    thanks, so will just go ahead then, the more the merrier. you cna view it on

    press CTRL + CLICK

  11. Follow up post #11 added on January 22, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    I appreciate the good wishes of all the posters. However I have a gut feeling that your donations are not going to the Henry Reeve brigade and instead would be taken by the government for whatever they want.

    That has been the history of the donations in Cuba for long time now.

    On the peak years in the 90’s, Cuba was receiving millions of dollars, complete ship loads of donations from many countries around the world and I recall how most of it was corruptibly diverted many times to government bureaucrats and their families but very rarely reaching the place where it was supposed to go on the first place.

    I remember seeing computers donated to school instead going to the house of government officials. Donated food being sold in government hard currency stores etc. Additionally there is a whole black market industry with the donations, most of the people working directly receiving and distributing the donations had become rich (for Cuban standards) even when their monthly salaries are under USD 20.00 per month. 

    In my opinion the best way to give donations to Cuba or to the Henry Reeve brigade is directly, go yourself or send somebody that you trust, otherwise you risk that your money is going somewhere else.

  12. Follow up post #12 added on January 22, 2010 by Marek with 49 total posts

    Part of my work during the 1990s / Special Period was securing and delivering donations to Cuba, including being on the ground to monitor deliveries to Cuba. I was also a witness required by the US Treasury Dept to a delivery of equipment to InfoMed in Havana. The amount of “diverted” donations was tiny, and nowhere near the level of corruption that you indicate (without sources, I might note).

    Yeyo, I have far more confidence in the MEDICC / Global Links donations getting to the Cuban medical brigades in Haiti than you apparently do.  As I noted, those organizations are U.S.-registered non-profits with long histories.

    Some people let their ideological hatred of Cuba get in the way of a good cause. Shame.

  13. Follow up post #13 added on January 22, 2010 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Marek, obviously most people are not interested in diverting medical equipment to their houses, actually except Fidel Castro that has his own medical clinic (the 43St. Clinic).

    You say: “without source I might note” , and I wonder: what source are you indicating in your comment?

    My sources are myself; I worked receiving donations and delivering them directly in Cuba, and personally witnessed the abuse and the corruption, how large amounts of the donations were being diverted from their original destinations. Why the government of Cuba do not allow the donating organizations to deliver the donations themselves??

    Very simple, because is the way they have to control everything and take whatever they want.

    I saw cars that were donated to “asilos de ancianos” being taken by other government companies. Yellow buses donated to schools, given to CIMEX Corporation (a government corporate group). Computers donated from Spain to a particular Cuban School, stolen by government bureaucrats for themselves, food donations being sold in the hard currency stores, etc. 
    I also saw people responsible with distributing the donations becoming rich (for Cuban Standards) while receiving a miserable salary.

    You trust Medicc and Global Links and I do not. Not a big deal, mater of true freedom, I’m now free to believe in whatever I want. I believe in direct donations and direct assistance, in other words helping people directly.

    The only one that has ideological hatred towards Cuba is you that pushing the Castro brothers’ agenda continues helping them to oppress the Cuban people, my people.

  14. Follow up post #14 added on January 25, 2010 by Rita Ridge Gonzalez

    Thhanks for the advice. Just to be on the safe side if i receive donations, i will take them there myself.


    for; Donate and Support the Cuban Henry Reeve international contingent

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