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Posted December 08, 2010 by publisher in Cuba Travel

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Ray Suarez of PBS NewsHour is in Cuba and will be posting articles to his Cuba blog all week sharing his thoughts on Cuba’s national health care system, current economic reforms and the possibility of better US Cuba relations.

His latest blog post, In Cuba, Biotech Eyed for Potential Economic Boost features a video report from Havana about the Cuba’s changing economy, its booming medical research industry and health care system.


More Cuba blog posts from Ray Suarez

Reporter’s Notebook: Lost in Havana

Reporter’s Notebook: Getting Reacquainted with Havana

Ray is also taking many photos while in Havana.

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  1. Follow up post #1 added on December 14, 2010 by Christopher

    I was in Cuba February of 2008 visiting extended family. I loved it. I loved the people and culture.
    Despite there hardships and the difficult times,I found Cubans to be warm and welcoming. I learned ofcourse that Cubans are very industrious,creative (partly out of necessity no doubt)but still the ambition and creative ingenuity reminded me,well of America. It’s easy to see why Cubans achieve so much and so quickly here. I loved the people and culture very much.
    However there were difficult stories to listen to. And sometimes the economic oppression,lack of opportunity and frustration were palatable. Like gasping for air.
    But the resilience of the Cuban spirit in the face of difficult times was something I had allot of respect for. I was honored to be a guest there. And I can’t wait to go back.
    So thank you for these stories and update’s as to where Cuba is at today. i hope and pray for the best for Cuba and can’t wait to go back.
    John Christopher

  2. Follow up post #2 added on December 18, 2010 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    On PBS in December

    Monday, December 20 - ECONOMIC REFORMS IN CUBA

    Earlier this year, the Cuban government announced 500,000 state workers will be laid off over the coming months and another 800,000 will likely be let go in the next several years. 

    And in a major reversal of long-held communist policies, the government recently published a list of 178 authorized private jobs which will allow Cubans to work for themselves and hire workers. All of these changes are occurring as more and more Cuban-Americans are traveling to the island to visit relatives, and Cubans are increasingly aware of the prosperity in other countries that eludes them. 

    Ray Suarez gets a variety of views from economic observers in both Cuba and Miami, and he profiles a rancher from Florida who hopes to be among the first Americans allowed to do business in Cuba when relations between the two countries improve.

    Tuesday, December 21 - PREVENTIVE MEDICINE IN CUBA

    Cuba has long touted its medical delivery system as a cornerstone of its communist state. The country has more doctors per capita than any other in the world and twice as many as the U.S.

    Infant mortality rates are lower than most of the developed world and age expectancy is higher. Cuba says these numbers reflect an emphasis on excellent preventive care given to each citizen for free. But critics say the country’s healthcare infrastructure is in bad shape and that there is a lack of many basic and essential medicines.

    The NewsHour’s global health team traveled to a rural community in Pinar del Rio to profile a doctor who visits patients in their homes. And Ray Suarez spoke with health experts in both Miami and Cuba who offer different perspectives on the successes and challenges of the Cuban healthcare system.

    Wednesday, December 22 - MEDICAL DIPLOMACY IN CUBA

    Since 1963, Cuba has sent over 100,000 health care workers to more than 100 countries around the world, where they often live in remote areas that are in desperate need of medical personnel. 

    These “medical mercenaries” are deployed for more than just charity care: political and financial goals are also at play.  Cuba’s export of medical personnel provides support from countries who may otherwise criticize the regime for human rights violations. 

    And the government receives financial payment and other support from countries where their doctors work. But hundreds of Cuban doctors have used their overseas missions as a way to defect—and many are now living in Miami. 

    At the same time Cuba is sending scores of their own doctors overseas, the government is also providing a free medical education for thousands of poor students around the world - including 50 from the U.S. - at the Latin American Medical School on the outskirts of Havana. 

    The NewsHour’s global health team visited the school and profiled Pasha Jackson, a former NFL player who plans to work in an underserved community in his hometown of Oakland after he graduates.

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  3. Follow up post #3 added on December 29, 2010 by Intellectual

    Ideas so fantastic only an intellectual would believe them. Medical embargo of US medicines! Pff!

  4. Follow up post #4 added on December 29, 2010 by Humberto Capiro

    Mr. Suarez,

      I hope you got a chance and will air interviews with Yoani Sanchez, Oswaldo Paya, Guillermo Farinas or some of The Ladies in White. If you do not, you have been used by the Cuban Goverment.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on January 01, 2011 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Seems as though not everyone liked Ray Suarez’s reports on Cuban healthcare.

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