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Vol. 80/No. 1      January 4, 2016


Cuban doctor discusses revolution’s
internationalism at Australia events

SYDNEY — “As a black, I could only become a doctor as a product of the Cuban Revolution, which was a revolution of the people,” world-recognized Cuban pediatric neurosurgeon Julio Brossard Alejo told the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society meeting here Dec. 3. Brossard also spoke on medicine in Cuba and the world at two other public meetings in Sydney.

Despite the “changed relations with the U.S.,” Washington’s embargo of the island’s economy remains in force, he said. It is difficult to buy medical books and supplies from the U.S. because of the government’s punishing blockade of the Cuban Revolution, which has lasted over half a century.

Despite this, “Cuba’s infant mortality rate is lower than Australia’s,” one of the most developed nations in the world, he said. “This is because the Cuban Revolution puts human life at the center.”

“The American government wants the younger generation in Cuba to forget the gains of the revolution,” he said. “They still want to overthrow the revolution,” but recognize brutal aggression hasn’t been successful.

“This was why they lifted the restrictions on Internet companies,” he said, while keeping the embargo in place. “Internet access is more important to them than supplies of medicine or food.”

“If we make mistakes in Cuba and we lose the revolution,” he told the solidarity activists, Cuba will end up “a poorer capitalist country like Nicaragua, not a developed one like Australia.”

He said he had been inspired by the example of Argentine-born Cuban revolutionary leader Che Guevara, who, in the heat of the battle, chose the revolution over medicine.

“This is why Cuba has shared all that it has with other poorer countries of the world,” he said, “to repay the debt Cuba owes the world.”

Cuba trains medical students from “many different countries, including the Solomon Islands and East Timor,” he said. In the Southern Infant Hospital in Santiago, where he practices, “many students from Latin America and Africa train who don’t have to pay anything.”

The hospital “just graduated the first five neurosurgeons from Mali,” he said.

Brossard visited Sydney as the guest of Charlie Teo, an internationally renowned neurosurgeon who pioneered minimally invasive keyhole surgical techniques for brain cancer treatment.
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Int’l farm groups meet in Cuba, discuss gains of revolution
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