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US puts “shameful pressure” on Italy for hiring Cuban doctors

Rome, Mar 23 (Prensa Latina) The recent pressure put by the US government on Italy for the hiring of Cuban doctors was described as "shameful".

In a statement released this Thursday, the Italy-Cuba Friendship Association (ANAIC), also stated that it is an “absurd interference by the United States in the internal affairs” of Italy, by “asking for explanations” on this issue from the sanitary authorities, as revealed by Corriere della Sera newspaper.

According to the news outlet, the US embassy in Rome demanded that the Italian Ministry of Health explain “the procedures for hiring (Cuban) professionals on a fixed term (in Calabria) and their remuneration”, to determine if they violate Washington’s blockade against Cuba.

Fifty-one Cuban doctors arrived in Calabria on December 28th, including cardiologists, pediatricians and surgeons, who provide services in hospitals in the towns of Locri, Polistena, Gioia Tauro and Melito Porto Salvo.

The president of the region, Roberto Occhiuto, stressed that “we are happy for the opportunity to have highly specialized doctors.”

Occhiuto pointed out that Calabria seeks to guarantee all the tools at its disposal for the care of citizens, in the face of the existing health emergency in the province.

The assistance of Cuban doctors is “a concrete way of giving immediate responses to the needs of citizens, providing adequate services, to guarantee operational health facilities throughout the region and functioning hospitals,” the politician said.

On January 8th, the ANAIC, together with other Spanish, French and Swedish organizations, demanded that the European Parliament protect the countries of the region against the extraterritorial application of the “blockade imposed by the world’s leading power on a small country in the Third World.”