Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 10:33 AM
Subject: [R-G] Fidel on Haiti, May last year
Reflexion by Fidel on Haiti and Cuba, May 24, 2009
"Haiti has an area of 27 750 square kilometers and, according to some
reliable estimates, in the year 2009 the population reached the figure of 9
million inhabitants. The number of inhabitants per square kilometer of
arable land has increased to 885, one of the highest in the world, without
the existence of any industrial development or resources that would allow it
to acquire a minimum amount of material goods indispensable for life.
Fifty three per cent of the population lives in the countryside; firewood
and charcoal are the only household fuels available to most Haitian
families, which hinders reforestation. The absence of forests, where the
soil gets spongy with the leaves, twigs and roots and helps to retain water,
facilitates the human and economic damages that heavy rains cause to
neighborhoods, roads and crops. Hurricanes, as is known, cause significant
additional damage which will be ever greater if the climate keeps on
changing so quickly. This is a secret to no one.
Our cooperation with the Haitian people began ten years ago, precisely when
hurricanes George and Mitch battered the Caribbean and some Central American
Rene Preval was then the President of Haiti and Jean-Bertrand Aristide was
the Head of Government. The first contingent of 100 Cuban doctors was sent
on December 4, 1998. The figure of Cuban health collaborators in Haiti was
later on increased to more than 600.
It was on that occasion when the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM),
where more than 12 000 youths are currently studying, was created. Ever
since then, the Haitian youths have been granted hundreds of scholarships by
the School of Medicine of Santiago de Cuba, one of the most experienced in
The number of primary schools in Haiti had increased and progress was being
made. Even the most humble families were eager to send their children to
school, for that was the only hope that they could overcome poverty and work
inside or outside their country. The Cuban medicine training program was
very much welcomed. The youths who were selected to study in Cuba had a good
basic training, an inheritance perhaps of the achievements attained by
France in that field. They should spend one year taking a pre-medical
course, which also included the Spanish language. That has become a good
reserve of quality physicians.
Five hundred and thirty three Haitian youths have graduated from our medical
schools as specialists in General Comprehensive Medicine; 52 of them are
currently in Cuba, studying a second specialty that is required right now.
Another group of 527 are filling the vacancies that were granted to the
Republic of Haiti.
Four hundred and thirteen Cuban health professionals are currently offering
their services, free of charge, to the people of that sister nation. The
Cuban doctors are present in all 10 departments of that country and in 127
of the 137 communities. More than 400 Haitian doctors who have been trained
in Cuba, as well as the students from the last year of the career who are
doing their practice in Haiti are also offering their services -side by side
with our doctors- which make up a big total of 800 Haitian youths devoted to
offer medical assistance in their homeland. That force will grow ever
bigger with the new Haitian graduates.
It was a tough challenge; the Cuban doctors had to cope with difficult
problems. Te infant mortality was above 80 per every one thousand live
births; life expectancy was below 60 years of age; the prevalence of AIDS
among adults in the year 2007 reached the figure of 120 000 citizens. Tens
of thousands of children and adults of different ages still die every year
from communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhea, dengue
and malnutrition, just to mention some indicators. Even the HIV is already
a disease doctors can combat, thus guaranteeing the life of patients. But
this can not be achieved in a single year; it is indispensable to have a
health culture, which the Haitian people are acquiring with greater
interest. The progress observed shows that it is possible to improve health
indicators in a significant way.
Thirty seven thousand one hundred and nine patients have undergone eye
surgery in three ophthalmologic centers that were created in Haiti. Those
complex cases that can not be operated on there are sent to Cuba, where they
are assisted at absolutely no cost.
Thanks to the Venezuelan economic cooperation, 10 Comprehensive Diagnosis
Centers are being built, which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology
that has already been acquired.
Far more important than the resources that could be mobilized by the
international community, are the human beings that make use of those
Our modest support to the people of Haiti has been possible despite of the
fact that the hurricanes mentioned by Clinton battered us as well.
Solidarity is a good evidence of what the world has lacked.
We could likewise speak of Cuba's contribution to the literacy programs and
other projects, despite our limited economic resources. But I do not want
to expand on this; nor is there any desire to do it just to speak about our
contribution. I focused on health because it is an unavoidable topic. We
are not afraid that others do what we are doing. The Haitian youths who are
being trained in Cuba are becoming the priests of health required more and
more by that sister nation.
What matters the most is the creation of new forms of cooperation, so much
in need by this selfish world. The UN agencies can attest to the fact that
Cuba is contributing what they describe as Health Comprehensive Programs.
Nothing can be improvised in Haiti, and nothing will result from the
philanthropic spirit of any institution."
Fidel Castro Ruiz
Rad-Green mailing list
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:15 AM
Subject: Fwd: CARE's response to the earthquake in Haiti - request for your
Hi. This is a message from my sister's husband Monte (they were just here
from Boston visiting us over NewYear's weekend). He is a wonderful and
dedicated man who works for the relief and development organization CARE.
Attached is their summary of initial relief efforts. We all want to help
any way we can and there are many avenues, but if you want to donate to a
very reliable and effective source I suggest you join me in donating to CARE
in care of Monte Allen at the address listed at the bottom of this email.
Love, Mha Atma
------- Forwarded message follows -------
Subject: CARE's response to the earthquake in Haiti -
request for your help
Date sent: Wed, 13 Jan 2010 16:12:36 -0500
From: "Allen, Monte" firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello. It's Monte Allen.
This is an urgent situation, so as we reach out for help, I hope that you
will excuse the fact that I cannot personalize this request.
I'm sure you've heard that there has been a massive earthquake in Haiti - as
if Haiti has not already endured enough suffering.
It has not yet been possible to make a full assessment of the damage and the
casualties (CARE is part of the interagency assessment starting today), but
one thing is clear: this is a very big deal! CNN quotes the President of
Haiti as "guestimating" that there will be over 100,000 deaths resulting
from the earthquake and its aftermath.
CARE will be a major player in the humanitarian response to this emergency
and we will bring a lot to the overall effort. But we must ask for your
help. Situations like this require tremendous resources - and fast.
Fortunately, there will be many organizations participating in the
collective effort (I have attached a list), but there are many good reasons
to direct your support to CARE.
· CARE has worked in Haiti since 1954 and has a well-established
presence there. We have 133 staff members already on the ground with
extensive experience responding to disasters. (Our current staff includes
many emergency personnel who were part of the response to the devastating
Hurricane Hanna in 2008.)
· CARE is preparing to deploy additional emergency team members to
bring additional expertise and capacity to the response effort.
· CARE International has extensive experience responding to
earthquakes (e.g. Pakistan, Indonesia).
· Earthquake is one of CARE Haiti's emergency preparedness scenarios
with response activities including distribution of hygiene kits, water,
partnering for food distribution, and support in emergency health. Shelter
is a particular CARE focus area after earthquakes.
· And CARE's country office in Haiti has established collaboration
protocols with UNICEF and the World Food Program.
I have attached a proposal that describes the situation and outlines the
role CARE will play. For the sake of the people of Haiti who are affected
by this disaster, we hope you will respond quickly and as generously as you