Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wallerstein: Brazil's World Policy, Update: Cuban-Haitian Med Teams

MEDICC: Update on Cuban-Haitian Med Teams

Posted by: "Jane Franklin"
Wed Feb 3, 2010 10:07 am (PST)
As I noted in an earlier message, donations to MEDICC will be well-spent.
Jane Franklin

Subject: Update on Cuban-Haitian Med Teams from MEDICC
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2010 10:34:48 -0500

UPDATE: Cuban-Haitian Medical Teams in Haiti

February 2, 2010-Cuban
and Cuban-trained Haitian doctors-already the largest contingent of
medical relief workers in Haiti since the January 12th earthquake-are
being joined by graduates of Cuba's Latin American Medical School (ELAM)
from a score of countries. Among the first to
arrive this week will be several US physicians who studied at ELAM.

Of the 938 health care providers in the teams on the ground thus far,
280 are young Haitian doctors, and at least 60 more are Haitian medical
students enrolled at the school. Over the next few weeks, they will receive
reinforcements of their peers in a number of Latin American, African and
Caribbean countries.

Like the Cubans, they are planning to stay in Haiti to rebuild the
public health system: "We're
working to provide comprehensive care over the long term," said
Dr. Carlos Alberto Garcia, one of the teams' coordinators. He noted that
the immediate need for surgeries for fractures and polytraumas has now given
way to rehabilitation efforts, treatment of people with diarrhea and
respiratory infections, and campaigns to prevent serious disease outbreaks
the aftermath of the quake.

The Henry Reeve Emergency Medical Contingent-as the Cuban-led
teams are known, named after a US veteran of Cuba's independence war
against Spain-is now working in three hospitals, four field hospitals,
five Comprehensive Diagnostic Centers (clinics) and numerous open-air sites
Port-au-Prince and throughout Haiti. The latest field hospital was opened
January 26 in Croix des Bouquets on the outskirts of the capital.

In addition, the contingent will open its ninth rehabilitation center
this week in Port-au-Prince, staffed by nearly 70
Cuban physical therapists and rehab specialists,
in addition to the Haitian medical personnel. Another 64
Cuban epidemiologists and nurses are
working in teams with the Haitian medical students to provide health
vector control and vaccinations in some 40 makeshift settlements around

"Post-quake epidemics are a real concern of course," noted
Dr. Garcia, reporting that the teams have thus far vaccinated some 20,000
Haitians and international volunteers with 400,000 tetanus vaccines donated
Cuba and additional vaccines donated by the Pan American Health Organization
(PAHO) against whooping cough, rubella, measles and diphtheria.

The Cuban-led contingent in
numbers, through February 1, 2010:

Health professionals

Of those, Haitian ELAM grads

Persons treated


Complex surgeries

280 (including 183 C-sections)

Sources: Granma, Juventud Rebelde, AIN, PL,

Gail Reed: International Director, MEDICC

Executive Editor, MEDICC Review>

Donate to Cuban-trained Haitian doctors on the front lines
of Haiti relief:

Follow the work of the Cuban-Haitian medical teams
on Twitter:



The United States Misreads Brazil's World Policy

A history lesson

By Immanuel Wallerstein
Wallerstein's ZSpace: Feb 01, 2010

When the United States first realized circa 1970 that its hegemonic
dominance was being threatened by the growing economic (and hence
geopolitical) strength of western Europe and Japan, it changed its posture,
seeking to prevent western Europe and Japan from taking too independent a
position in world affairs.

The United States said in effect, although not in words: Up to now, we have
been treating you as satellites, required to follow our lead without
question on the world scene. But you are stronger now. So we invite you to
be partners, junior partners, who will share in the collective
decision-making, provided only you don't stray too far on your own. This new
U.S. policy was institutionalized in multiple ways - notably the creation of
the G-7, the establishment of the Trilateral Commission, and the invention
of the World Economic Forum of Davos as a meeting-ground of the "friendly"
world elite.

The main U.S. objective was to slow down the decline of its geopolitical
power. The new policy worked for perhaps twenty years. It was finally undone
by two successive events. The first was the disintegration of the Soviet
Union in 1989-1991, which removed the major argument the United States had
used with its "partners" that they should not be too "independent" on the
world scene. And the second was the self-defeating unilateral macho
militarism of the Bush regime. Instead of restoring U.S. hegemony, it
resulted in the devastating failure of the United States in 2003 to get U.N.
Security Council endorsement of its invasion of Iraq. Bush's neocon policies
had backfired entirely, turning a slow decline in U.S. geopolitical power
into a precipitate decline.

Today, almost everyone recognizes that the United States no longer has the
clout it once had.

One would have thought the United States might have learned some lessons
from the errors of the Bush regime. But it seems it is trying to repeat the
same scenario with Brazil today. It will not take twenty years for this
attempt to unravel.

The major geopolitical move that Obama has undertaken was to turn the G-8
meeting into a G-20 meeting. The crucial group that was added to the meeting
were the so-called BRIC countries, otherwise called the "emerging"
countries. BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia (already included in the G-8),
India, and China.

What the United States is offering Brazil is "partnership." This comes out
very clearly in the recent report of a Task Force of the Council on Foreign
Relations (CFR) entitled U.S.-Latin America Relations: A New Direction for a
New Reality. The CFR is the voice of the centrist Establishment, and this
report probably reflects White House thinking.

There are two crucial sentences in this report concerning Brazil. The first
reads: "The Task Force believes that deepening strategic relationships with
Brazil and Mexico, and reformulating diplomatic efforts with Venezuela and
Cuba, will not only establish more fruitful interaction with these countries
but will also positively transform U.S.-Latin American relations."

And the second sentence deals specifically with Brazil: "The Task Force
recommends that the United States build on its existing collaboration with
Brazil on ethanol to develop a more consistent, coordinated, and broader
partnership that incorporates a wide range of bilateral, regional, and
global issues."

The report was issued in 2009. In December, the CFR organized with the
Funda? Getulio Vargas (FGV) a seminar on "rising Brazil." By coincidence,
the seminar occurred just at the moment of both the Honduran political
crisis and the visit of Iran's President Ahmadinejad to Brazil. The U.S.
participants in the seminar did not speak the same language as the
Brazilians. The Americans believed that Brazil should act as a regional
power, that is, as a sub-imperial power. The U.S. participants couldn't
understand Brazil's disapproval of Colombia's military and economic links
with the United States. They thought also that Brazil should assume some
responsibility for maintaining "world order," which meant joining in the
U.S. pressure on Iran's nuclear policies, whereas the Brazilians felt that
the U.S. position on Iran was "hypocritical." Finally, whereas the U.S.
participants saw Chavez's Venezuela as being "far from democratic," the
Brazilians echoed President Lula's characterization that Venezuela suffered
from an "excess of democracy."

In January 2010, Susan Purcell, a conservative U.S. analyst, published in
the Miami Herald a critique of U.S. policy on Brazil, calling it "wishful
thinking." She may well be right. In her view, "Washington may need to
rethink its assumptions regarding the extent to which Brazil can be relied
on to deal with political and security problems in Latin America in ways
that are also compatible with U.S. interests."

In January also, Valter Pomar, Secretary for International Relations of
Lula's party, the PT, said that the U.S. intention in creating the G-20 was
"to try to absorb and control alternative poles of power, maintain a
multipolarity under control." He insisted that, in the strain between
supporting world capitalist interests as a sub-imperial power and supporting
"democratic-popular interests," Brazil would end up on the latter side.

Given the increased strength of western Europe and Japan in the early 1970s,
the United States offered them promotion to the status of junior partner.
France and Germany opted to proceed further to an independent world role in
2003. And Japan, in its national election in 2009 and its mayoral election
in Okinawa in 2010, seems to be opting for it now. Brazil, given its
increased strength, was offered junior partnership only in 2009.
It seems to be insisting on an independent world role almost immediately.

From: Z Net - The Spirit Of Resistance Lives


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