Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This is the BBC, London ...

I introduce you to an article by Tom Fawthrop that appears on the BBC’s well-visited website under the heading, “Cuba doctors popular in quake-stricken Java”.

Innocent enough article, you think as you start reading how a team of 135 Cuban doctors sent to Indonesia following the Java earthquake in May has proved “so popular that locals have asked it to stay on for another six months”.

But then, as you read on, it all becomes clear. Crystal clear.

Mr Fawthorp quotes the area’s Regional Health Co-ordinator, Dr Ronny Rockito, praising the Cuban medical team.

"I appreciate the Cuban medical team. Their style is very friendly. Their medical standard is very high. The Cuban hospitals are fully complete and it's free, with no financial support from our government,” Dr Rockito says. “We give our special thanks to Fidel Castro.”

And in case you didn’t get it, Mr Fawthorp ends his report thus:

“From the early days of the 1959 revolution, President Fidel Castro prioritised education and health as pillars of the new society, and the Caribbean island now has the highest ratio of doctors per person in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

“Many things could change in a post-Castro era, but most Cubans would fiercely resist any attempt to undermine the extraordinary success of their health system.”

You can read the report here. It’s definitely the BBC, not Granma.


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