In contrast with its economic potential, Brazil occupies the 125th place in the world health ranking. In 2013, given the precariousness of care in the poorest regions, Dilma Rousseff’s government created the More Doctors Program, based on an agreement with the Pan American Health Organization, and driven above all by Cuba’s response based on solidarity.
Through a Twitter announcement, President-elect Jair Bolsonaro decided to end this project which, according to a study conducted by the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the Federal University of Minas Gerais, the project is viewed positively by 95% of the population. What this means is that starting in 2019, about 44 million low-income Brazilians will be left without medical care in more than 2,000 municipalities in the interior of the country. Brazil’s next government, which calls itself “without ideological bias,” will lose 9,000 Cuban doctors precisely because of its ideological stubbornness of its heartless president.
Cuba’s medical missions began in 1963, in Algeria, and since then has been extended to the poorest regions of the planet on four continents. They have been missions based not on profit, but on understanding the sensitivity to the needs of each people. So far, 164 nations have benefited from the services of more than 400,000 highly qualified Cuban health specialists who have participated in the program.
What can be expected of a ruler who boasts of hatred, misogyny, racism, who uses “black lists” to frighten his political opponents and adores weapons in a cult of death? How can a humanitarian project be explained to a person who despises the suffering and pain of others in this way? How can a social project like More Doctors be seen by those who only prioritize the interests of capital and the desire for domination of the most reactionary circles of power?
Bolsonaro knows that leaving 44 million people without the vital assistance of these professionals will mean a death sentence for many, but he cares little about that. Fascism, in its sinister vision of reality, despises the sick, the needy, those who are different and the weak, which is consistent with its insensitivity to the most vulnerable. Fascists like Bolsonaro ignore human solidarity and cultivate terror and hatred; they are monsters who know nothing about love.
The Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity strongly condemns the attitude of the president-elect of Brazil and supports the sovereign decision of the Cuban government to safeguard the life and dignity of its specialists, with the conviction that the supportive, selfless and altruistic medicine that Cuba has cultivated with its professionals all over the world is the best way to practice this profession, the only possible one for the survival of the species and the maintenance of peace on the planet.
We demand from the government of Brazil a respectful and dignified treatment of Cuban doctors and the guarantee of the right to health for the citizens of that country, 44 million of whom will now be deprived of medical attention and, with all certainty, there will be no replacement or remedies for the consequences of their already very difficult living conditions.
We call upon the progressive forces of the world and all people of good will to condemn the attitude assumed by the future president of Brazil against Cuban doctors and to make the truth know of this despicable action.
The Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity